As lawyers and advocates, we have to be assertive on behalf of our clients. And, yes, more than we should, we get emotionally wrapped up in our cases and our client’s cause. But, two Florida lawyers took the advocacy part of the job way too far. One lawyer referred to the other as "retard." The other responded that the first lawyer is a "scum sucking loser" in escalating email insults.
Nicholas Mooney of Tampa, Florida, represented Volkswagen of America, recieved a public reprimand and must take a class on professionalism. He is a former partner at Hinshaw & Culbertson. The Hinshaw law firm is one those mega-law firms in Florida. He is now with Bromagen & Rathet. See website.
Kurt Mitchell, of Palmeto, Flroida, is an accident lawyer (i,.e. personal injury lawyer was suspended for ten days and must take a class on anger management. See ABA Bar Journal report. I like how the Florida Supreme Court was careful not to require them to take the same class.
At one point Mooney called Mitchell a jerk. At another point, Mitchell called Mooney an "old hack." Subsequent emails worsened:
- from Mooney to Mitchell: after being accused of not being able to handle the pressure of litigation, Mooney said he was handling more than 200 cases, many of which were more important than these little Magnuson Moss warranty claims that are handled by bottom feeding scum sucking loser lawyers like yourself.
- from Mitchell to Mooney: Mooney displays symptoms of disability: "closely spaced eyes, dull blank stare, bulbous head, lying."
- from Mooney: Mitchell should look in the mirror to see signs of disability; then check his children to see if they are even his … and better check the garbage man that comes by his trailer to make sure they don’t look like the garbage man.
- from Mitchell: after learning that Mooney’s son suffers from a birth defect: "While I’m sorry to hear about your disabled child, that sort of thing is to be expected when a retard reproduces."
Mr. Mitchell sent similar emails to a landlord and was involved in other complaints about him.
From Thomas More to Felix Frankfurter to Mooney and Mitchell, such is the state of the law today……