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Learning to play well with others

U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks, who sits in Austin, Texas, is fed up with petulant, childish litigation. So he’s doing something about it.

In a case styled Morris v. Coker, he said that three non-parties had “invited” the court to quash several subpoenas that were “not properly served, are overly broad and unduly burdensome and seek privileged information.”

In response, Sparks issued an “invitation” of his own to two lawyers, counsel for the defendant who wanted to take the three depos and the lawyer who filed the motion to quash.

He said the men were invited to “a kindergarten party” in his courtroom to be held Sept. 1.

He added, “The party will feature many exciting and informative lessons, including:

• How to telephone and communicate with a lawyer
• How to enter into reasonable agreements about deposition dates
• How to limit depositions to reasonable subject matter
• Why it is neither cute nor clever to attempt to quash a subpoena for technical failures of service when reasonable notice is given; and
• An advanced seminar on not wasting the time of a busy federal judge and his staff because you are unable to practice law at the level of a first year law student.”

Sparks also said, “Invitation to this exclusive event is not RSVP. Please remember to bring a sack lunch!”

And he concluded, “The U.S. Marshals have beds available if necessary, so you may wish to bring a toothbrush in case the party runs late.”

I wouldn’t want to be those guys.


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