As family law litigants should always treat the opposing party with respect, so should attorneys treat opposing counsel. In fact, under Florida Bar Rule 4-8.4(d), attorneys are prohibited from “disparag[ing]…litigants, jurors, witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on any basis.” However, some attorneys are just not keen on getting along.
Recently, two attorneys were reprimanded by the Florida Bar for hostile and unprofessional behavior. Below are excerpts from emails they exchanged (as published in the January newsletter of the Hillsborough County Bar Association’s Family Law Section):
“I do not think I deserve the jerk comment. I was actually on the internet trying to find out what type of retardism you have by checking your symptoms, e.g. closely spaced eyes, dull blank stare, bulbous head, lying and inability to tell fiction from reality, so I could donate money for research for a cure. However, apparently those symptoms are indicative of numerous types of retardism and so my search was unsuccessful. Have a great day Corky. I mean; Mr. Mooney.”
“Thanks Sparky . . . more evidence of the jerk you are. . . the fact that I have a son with a birth defect really shows what type of a weak-minded coward you truly are . . . I am sure your parents, if you even know who they are, are very proud of the development of their sperm cells . . . if you need to find the indications of ‘retardism’ you seek, I suggest that you look into a mirror, then look at your wife – she has to be a retard to marry such a loser like you . . . Then check your children (if they are even yours . . . Better check the garbage man that comes by your trailer to make sure they don’t look like him).”