Some might consider it cutesy when a judge threatens to shame lawyers over breaches of civility; it's the second time in a week that a judge has engaged in a well-publicized shaming of attorneys. But I have a serious problem with the way this judge handled it. Perhaps both parties are equally guilty of abusive behavior in this case, but I more frequently find that one party is dragging everyone down in the muck. Leave that to one side, though: the problem here is that the court, by ordering on Thursday that every lawyer show up in Delaware on the Sunday of Labor Day weekend for a possible overnight session of lectures unless the parties settle before then is abusively creating a conflict of interest between the attorneys and their clients. It's hard to say that any attorneys forced to settle under these circumstances are settling on terms best for their clients, when the attorneys' personal interests at avoiding humiliation are so much at stake. Indeed, if one takes Delaware Professional Conduct Rule 1.7 seriously, any attorney at risk of sanctions for not settling now has to get permission in writing to continue representation of their client.
Judge orders lawyers to mandatory Labor-Day weekend seminar
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