We Read So You Don’t Have To: TEETH, NOT LIP SERVICE

From a recent decision of the Court of Appeal, Fourth District, Division Three (Santa Ana):

“Sanctions are serious business. They deserve more thought than the choice of a salad dressing. ‘I‘ll have the sanctions, please. No, on second thought, bring me the balsamic; I‘m trying to lose a few pounds.’ A request for sanctions can never be so lightly considered as to be copied word for word from another brief – much less copied in reliance on facts from another case that do not obtain in the present one. A request for sanctions should be reserved for serious violations of the standard of practice, not used as a bullying tactic. 

“Our profession is rife with cynicism, awash in incivility. Lawyers and judges of our generation spend a great deal of time lamenting the loss of a golden age when lawyers treated each other with respect and courtesy. It’s time to stop talking about the problem and act on it. For decades, our profession has given lip service to civility. All we have gotten from it is tired lips. We have reluctantly concluded lips cannot do the job; teeth are required. In this case, those teeth will take the form of sanctions.

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