There must be no more of this childish abuse…. No more or there will be sanctions. In more than 29 years as a judge, I have never encountered such bickering, quarrelsome lawyers. You are wasting my time and your clients’ money.

– Judge Richard Posner of the Seventh Circuit, sitting by designation as a district judge (N.D. Ill.), ruling on motions in limine in Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Lear Corp. (PDF).

(The context of this quotation, which contains additional benchslappery, appears below.)

The context, as explained by the Docket Report newsletter of Docket Navigator, is Judge Posner ruling on defendant Lear’s motion in limine to exclude evidence about pre-production versions of its product. Here’s more from the section from which the foregoing quote was taken:

Lear’s Motion 1 (to exclude any testimony or documents concerning pre‐production versions of Lear’s product, including the testimony of Jason Bauman and Kurt Dykema and Plaintiffs’ Exhibits 35, 49–52, 54–55, 105, and 129): Partially granted and partially denied.

I again remind the parties to avoid tendentious bickering. Chamberlain’s response is ridiculously argumentative, as in: “At bottom, Lear’s motion is just another attempt to hide its willfulness and tip the case in its favor. Whereas Plaintiffs have been working with this Court in good faith to narrow the case in a fair and balanced way, Lear uses the concept of ‘narrowing’ as a sword and a shield. Just as Lear improperly invoked the attorney client privilege during discovery to hide its willfulness, Lear now latches onto the Court’s desire to narrow this case to try to further hide its willfulness (while insisting all along that it should be allowed to use any helpful evidence it produced to show it acted carefully). Lear’s actions are akin to a robber trying to hide years of evidence showing how he planned a robbery under the veiled argument that it is better for the jury to only hear about what happened the day the house was robbed, while at the same time introducing self‐serving and irrelevant evidence from the prior period.”

There must be no more of this childish abuse (“akin to a robber,” etc.). Lear is at fault too but the plaintiffs are even worse offenders. No more or there will be sanctions. In more than 29 years as a judge, I have never encountered such bickering, quarrelsome lawyers. You are wasting my time and your clients’ money.

Do not mess with Seventh Circuit judges; they’re dishing out benchslaps left and right these days. See, e.g., here and here.

Chamberlain Group, Inc. v. Lear Corp.: Order on Motions in Limine [PDF]

Earlier: Quote(s) of the Day: Oh, professionalism is overrated. (Mess with the Easterbrook, you get the horns.)
Quote of the Day: The Best Brief Is a Brief Brief


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