Edith Jones, the Chief Judge of the 5th Circuit, wasn't happy with the order and sent Judge Sparks this email:
Dear Sam, It has not escaped my attention, or that of my colleagues or, I am told, nationally known blog sites that you have issued several ‘cute’ orders in the past few weeks. The order attached below is the most recent. Frankly, this kind of rhetoric is not funny. In fact, it is so caustic, demeaning, and gratuitous that it casts more disrespect on the judiciary than on the now-besmirched reputation of the counsel. It suggests either that the judge is simply indulging himself at the expense of counsel or that he is fighting with counsel in what, as Judge Gee used to say, is surely not a fair contest. It suggests bias against counsel. No doubt, none of us has been consistently above reproach in our professional communications with counsel. We are all prone to human error. But no judge who writes an order should allow such rhetoric to overcome common sense. Ultimately, this kind of excess, as I noted, reflects badly on all of us. I urge you to think before you write. Sincerely, Edith Jones.
Ouch. According to the Texas Lawyer, Jones wasn't happy her email got out:
Jones declines comment on the substance of the e-mail but says she was “saddened” that it had been released to others, including Texas Lawyer. “It’s an internal matter,” Jones says. “And I’m saddened that somebody breached the intended limited scope of the intended distribution.”
What do you all think of Sparks' initial order and Jones' email? I guess all of this could segue into the discussion of the new Florida Bar rule on civility, but I'm tired after watching the Dolphins last night so I can't think of a witty way to do it.