Friday, September 13, 2013

Do Bloggers irritate judges?

Senior U.S. District Judge Richard G. Kopf has this post today on that exact subject (re Howard Bashman at How Appealing) at his blog, "Hercules and the Umpire."

Meantime, it appears that Judge Kopf has irritated an appellate judge with his use of language on his blog

While he thought the story was inspiring, a distinguished federal appellate judge from another Circuit thought my use of a vulgarity (“suck”) in the post about Shon Hopwood offended good taste.  I am glad the judge cared enough to write, and I sincerely thank him. Although I am not keen on receiving lectures on taste and decorum, the judge’s candid criticism about my use of rough, profane or vulgar language caused me to reflect seriously on his point.
I am of two minds. On the one hand, I understand the great strength of the judge’s point. Among other consequences, jarring language such as the word the judge complained about may unnecessarily diminish respect for other judges. Moreover, judges should model civilized writing if for no other reason than they expect civilized discourse from others. Still further, bad words are simply losing their utility in our coarsening society. On the other hand, I want to demystify the work of federal trial judges. Sometimes, rough language expresses my thoughts in a way that more refined language would mask. Indeed, from where I sit, much of what I see and hear is actually profane and vulgar no matter how I might wish to sanitize it.

I really enjoy reading Kopf's blog as it is a pretty open dialogue from a sitting district judge. He also engages his readers in the comment section. If you haven't already, you should check it out.

If you are interested in Supreme Court "beauty contests," there are two good articles to read:

The first is on Above the Law about how the law firms were selected in the Obamacare cases, and the second is from the Daily Report about a case headed to the Supreme Court between Georgia and Florida where Georgia took bids for the case:
Lawyers who want to defend Georgia from Florida's impending lawsuit over water rights range from a former U.S. solicitor general who regularly charges more than $1,100 per hour to a recent law school graduate who offered to work for free. Those were two of the 29 applications the Georgia Law Department received by Tuesday's deadline. Two other applications were submitted after the deadline, and the department has not yet determined whether they will be considered. This is the first time under Georgia Attorney General Sam Olens that the Law Department has sought bids for potential special assistant attorneys general.

Finally, the 11th Circuit decided that ghostwriting for a pro se litigant isn't so bad.  I wonder which law clerk wrote that opinion.


Anonymous said...

Judges should not blog and Supreme Court justices should not do book/speaking tours.

MC Waste Services, Inc said... THIS SHOULDNT BE ALLOWED

Rumpole said...

I cannot possibly imagine or conjure up any circumstance in which a blogger would annoy a judge, It boggles the mind to think such a thing could occur.