Yelling at Law Clerk? Think Twice!

Thinking about being rude toward judge’s law clerk? Well, think twice! Via Legal Blog Watch, 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld a decision to disbar an attorney for one year because he yelled at a law clerk over the phone.

Mr. Moity referenced a telephone message from the court which he acknowledged that he had not returned. Indeed, Ms. Blanke had placed two telephone calls to Mr. Moity in the days before the conference, one on Tuesday, September 19 and one on Wednesday, September 20. When Mr. Moity mentioned those phone calls, Ms. Blanke confirmed that she had indeed called him, and that both messages specifically referenced the Rule 16 conference. At that point, Mr. Moity started yelling and asking, in a very angry tone, whether Ms. Blanke had specifically included in her messages to his office that he was supposed to appear at the Rule 16 conference. Ms. Blanke asked Mr. Moity to calm down, and then asked if he was suggesting that it was her responsibility to call him and remind him about the conference. Mr. Moity stated he was not implying that, but then started questioning Ms. Blanke, in what she perceived to be a very ugly tone, why she hadn’t done so, since she was “already calling anyway.”

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