Judge Steven D. Merryday

Federal judges don’t always tell lawyers that their writing is crap, but when they do, they’ll do it in a publicly filed court order. Because while judges have got many a tool in their benchslapping arsenal, a public shaming is perhaps the most useful of them all.

Today’s instance of public shaming comes to us courtesy of Judge Steven Merryday (M.D. Fla.), the same fellow who denied a motion to suspend trial in a death penalty case from an attorney who wanted to participate in an Ernest Hemingway look-alike contest.

Let’s jump right in and see what happened, because this judge had a field day with redlining….

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So, lawyers are people. Despite the importance of work, especially in Biglaw, sometimes personal life probably should take precedence over practicing law. Perhaps a wedding, a funeral, or maybe a particularly important religious holiday should win out.

But what about a defense attorney who wants to suspend a capital murder-for-hire trial to attend a look-alike contest for one of the greatest authors in American history? The short answer is: no dice. The slightly longer answer is a hilarious ruling from a federal judge denying the request….

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