Guest post: Just make your damn case

Originally a comment by Screechy Monkey on The more accurate terminology.

I think it’s important to separate two things.

1) The underlying ruling is, I think, poor. I disagree with the substance of it, and I think a judge should refrain from limiting counsel’s language except in very clear-cut cases.

2) The reaction of the ADF’s counsel is worse. First, it’s shitty advocacy. When a judge tells you to stop saying something because it doesn’t help your case and he considers it uncivil, you STOP SAYING IT. Find another way to make your arguments. The entire point of wanting to use one term instead of another is because you’re an advocate trying to persuade the judge. Persisting in using a term that this judge has told you he does not find persuasive or helpful to your case is just counterproductive. (Even if this ruling extends to an eventual jury trial, it’s still fairly dumb to piss off the judge.) Unless your real goal is to lose the case while preening for the media and your GoFundMe donors or whoever, which seems to be the real purpose behind a lot of public litigation these days, so who knows. I’m just one of those dumb old school litigators who tries to actually win his cases. Second, filing a motion to recuse because you don’t like a judge’s ruling is utter nonsense. It’s something that pro se litigants and hacks do. There are reams of authority that say that you can’t do that. If it’s an appealable order, then appeal it. If it’s not an appealable order, then either take a writ if that’s available, or violate the order so as to create an appealable sanctions/contempt order (good luck with that! better hope you’re right!), or just make your damn case and add it to the grounds for appeal if you lose.

19 Responses to “Guest post: Just make your damn case”