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Watch your language

Today’s news release by the Louisiana Supreme Court included an interesting item: a writ application not considered because the applicant violated Rule VII § 7. What does Rule VII § 7 say?

The language used in any brief or document filed in this court must be courteous, and free from insulting criticism of any person, individually or officially, or of any class or association of persons, or of any court of justice, or other institution. Any violation of this rule shall subject the author or authors of the brief or document to the humiliation of having the brief or document returned, and to punishment for contempt of the authority of the court. 

In a concurring opinion, Justice Crichton (joined by Justice Crain) elaborated on the writ application’s language that offended the LASC:

In his writ application to this Court, applicant sets forth overly harsh criticism of the lower courts, describing the “corrupt” trial court’s ruling as a “massacre of justice” and the court of appeal’s “feebl[y] written” decision as “feckless,” “perverse,” and “aberrant.” In my view, even in the spirit of zealous advocacy, the use of this language violates our oath as lawyers, our Professionalism Guidelines, and La. Sup. Ct. Rule VII, §7.

Randazzo v. Imbraguglio, 2021-CC-1562 (La. 12/21/21), with concurrence by Crichton, J.

Hat tip to my colleague Sara Valentine for spotting this.


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