Well, there’s really nothing else to talk about this morning. Jezebel reports that a defense attorney has written a motion objecting to the people seated at the plaintiff’s table. Well, one person in particular — a “large breasted woman” who is seated next to plaintiff’s counsel.
Is there a law against having large-breasted women hang out with you? Of course not; this is America!
But since this motion is one of the most sexist things you are likely to come across, let’s give it a closer look…
Here’s the argument put forth by the firm Gauthier & Gooch, counsel to defendant Exotic Motors, from Jezebel:
Defendant’s counsel is anecdotally familiar with the tactics and theatrics of Plaintiff’s counsel, [redacted]. Such behavior includes having a large breasted woman sit next to him at counsel’s table during the course of the trial. There is no evidence whatsoever that this woman has any legal training whatsoever, and the sole purpose of her presence at Plaintiff’s Counsel’s table is to draw the attention of the jury away from the relevant proceedings before this court, obviously prejudicing the Defendant’s in this or any other cause. Until it is shown that this woman has any sort of legal background, she should be required to sit in the gallery with the rest of the spectators and be barred from sitting at counsel’s table during the course of this trial.
The sexism is dripping off of this complaint, but I know some of our readers saw the phrase “large breasted women” and didn’t really read anything else. So it’s time to put on our liberal-arts approved, close-reading glasses:
1) “There is no evidence whatsoever that this woman has any legal training whatsoever.”
Why does she have to provide you with evidence of legal training? Isn’t sitting there silently what most counsel do during a trial? Based on this motion, I’m thinking you are the one who should need to provide some kind of proof of legal knowledge.
2) “[T]he sole purpose of her presence at Plaintiff’s Counsel’s table is to draw the attention of the jury away from the relevant proceedings before this court, obviously prejudicing the Defendant’s in this or any other cause.”
Just because you can’t keep your eyes off of her rack doesn’t mean the jury is having the same kind of problems. Maybe they are better at their jobs than you are? Maybe if you spent more time working on your case and less time ogling opposing counsel, the jury wouldn’t look so disinterested when you are talking?
3) “Until it is shown that this woman has any sort of legal background, she should be required to sit in the gallery with the rest of the spectators.”
The motion itself is completely offensive. This isn’t a question of appropriate courtroom attire (see Motion to Compel Appropriate Shoes). This is just a woman with apparently awesome breasts. Essentially, this defense attorney wrote a whole motion to illustrate that he’s just a skeevy guy who maybe wants a date with the lady sitting at opposing counsel’s table.
One really shouldn’t have to justify this motion with an answer. But Anna North of Jezebel did speak to plaintiff’s counsel — who of course totally shut this down:
Dmitry Feofanov [plaintiff's counsel] says the woman in question is his paralegal assistant, who has been paid as a paralegal by two different courts (he sent me documentation of this as well). His response also requests that the defendants’ attorney reimburse the plaintiffs for fees associated with the motion, because it was without merit.
Is that going to be enough of a legal background for the law firm of Gauthier & Gooch?
Thomas W. Gooch III, the attorney who authored the motion, is probably disappointed by this response from plaintiff’s counsel. He was probably more interested in the large-breasted woman’s phone number than her “legal training.”