Some of us trial lawyers enjoy watching the various Trump trials. Partly because we always enjoy watching someone else’s trial. And too,Trump’s legal machinations never cease to amuse and amaze. He disrespects judges hearing his case every day. He even attacks the Judge’s law clerk. In the litigation world, court staff are generally hands off. We all know not to fuss at them without a very, very good reason. The staff cannot push back. They can only utter a meek sorry if they commit an error. Donald Trump went way beyond litigation norms in attacking Judge Engoron’s law clerk during the trial.

Now, his chickens have come home to roost. He is having trouble finding the funds for an appeal bond. The bond is necessary, to prevent collection efforts during the appeal process. Mr. Trump can submit his appeal with or without an appeal bond. But, without the bond, there is no legal impediment to the New York AG starting collection efforts. The AG is named Letitia James. That is the same Leitita James Mr. Trump has been castigating for months.

In normal lawsuits, most Defendants do not start collection efforts during an appeal. It is a lot of bother and an appeal bond is usually a phone call away. And, too, usually, there is some minimal good will between the parties. But, Donald Trump has never met Mr. or Ms. Good Will. He does not know what they look like.


Then, in a remarkable display of hutzpah, Trump asks Judge Engoron to be excused from posting an appeal bond. He would prefer to put up some real estate. He is good for it, his lawyers assure the Judge. This is the same Judge Engoron who Mr. Trump also has been insulting for weeks and months. The same Judge whose law clerk he attacked over and over. Now, Donald wants a solid from that same Judge Engoron.

There is a reason why the better trial lawyers try to not make lawsuits anymore personal than they are already. Anger, frustration, pain lie just slightly below the surface in every lawsuit. We do not need to make it worse by attacking very publicly the court and the court staff. Because, in every lawsuit, there are times when we do need a favor from the other side. Generally, the only favor is where the depositions will take place, or when one lawyer needs emergency time off for a sick family member. Or, sometimes, it’s when you want the Judge to believe you are acting in good faith and cannot raise the funds for an appeal bond.