“I have never, ever seen an attorney more rude and disrespectful on so many levels.”

by Walter Olson on December 6, 2008

The California state bar has charged San Francisco attorney Philip Kay, famed for sexual harassment lawsuits, “with turning two cases before three San Diego judges into three-ring circuses by repeatedly impugning court orders and caustically accusing the judges of misconduct in front of jurors. Prosecutors also claim Kay entered into an illegal fee-splitting agreement in his most high-profile case — a sexual harassment suit against mega-law firm Baker & McKenzie that in 1994 resulted in a $6.9 million San Francisco jury award for his client, former legal secretary Rena Weeks. (The judgment was later reduced to $3.5 million.)” The title quote is from San Diego judge Joan Weber, and refers to Kay’s conduct in a sexual harassment suit against Ralphs Grocery. (Mike McKee, “Famed Plaintiffs Lawyer Faces Bar Charges Over Conduct”, The Recorder, Dec. 5).

{ 3 comments }

1 Ted 12.06.08 at 6:33 am

“If I was as bad as they are making it out,” he added, “why would I have not come out of the trial in handcuffs, and held in contempt and sanctioned and found to have violated the defendants’ rights to a fair trial?”

I’d like to know that, too. How bad are these judges that they let an attorney get away with conduct that is potentially a disciplinary violation?

2 matt 12.06.08 at 9:39 am

they seem to do that quite a bit too (every single jack thompson case)

3 CarLitGuy 12.06.08 at 9:12 pm

I find it deeply troubling that a lawyer would advance a defense of, essentially, “I got away with it until now”. As if “failure to warn” was a defense in an ethics case involving a (theoretically) sophisticated defendant. Of course, when a West Virginia Supreme Court Justice can claim there is no appearance of impropriety while reducing the judment against a corporation responsible for the majority of his re-election campaign contributions, the standard for ethical conduct must be very low indeed.

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