RANT: What Is It With This Impulse To Demand Sanctions For Everything?

I’ve been practicing law for 21 years.  I’m aggressive.  Very aggressive. But this is ridiculous.  Up until this year, once has any other lawyer ever sought sanctions against me.  They lost. But they were BigLaw and I understood: their client got caught with his fingers in the wringer and they had to do something so they attempted to discredit me.  Sort of like politics: if you don’t like the argument just say something derogatory about the messenger.  Logicians call it ad hominum attacks.  Amazing how often it works too.  But this rant isn’t about politics.  It’s about the law or how the practice of law is deteriorating or something.

What am I talking about?  I’ll tell you: Three times!  Yes, Three Times!  This year alone I’ve had some lawyer file a personal claim against me for sanctions.  I don’t know why.  I haven’t changed how I practice law.  They haven’t won.  Judges understand what I’m doing and why.  In fact, in the most recent case the Judge specifically stated in writing that “the Court finds no evidence to support the [Defendant’s] motion. [Defendant] presented no evidence indicating that Plaintiff s counsel [me] lacked a reasonable basis that the Complaint was well grounded in fact at the time of filing.  Therefore, the Court denies [Defendant’s] s Motion for Sanctions.”  So if you have no evidence that sanctions are appropriate, why on earth demand them?  Worse, if you have no evidence that sanctions are appropriate, isn’t the demand for sanctions itself sanctionable?  This is ridiculous.  It’s worse than ridiculous–it’s wasting the court’s time, it’s wasting my time and my client’s money, and it’s wasting the other lawyer’s time and his client’s money.

O wait, maybe that’s what all this is about–justifying your fees to your client by claiming that I did something wrong.  That’s disgusting.  And it’s getting more and more prevalent if my own experiences are any guide.  This has got to stop.

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