washingtonienne.jpegWell, so is Judge Paul L. Friedman, who is presiding over the invasion-of-privacy lawsuit brought against Jessica by Robert Steinbuch, one of her former lovers. This afternoon Judge Friedman issued a testy memorandum opinion and order (PDF), in which he bench-slapped the lawyers in the case for their ridiculous and embarrassing conduct in the case, as well as their repeated violations of court rules.


Okay, it's late in the afternoon, on a Friday before a holiday weekend. So forgive us for the somewhat half-assed treatment of an opinion that deserves more thorough scrutiny.

After the jump, excerpts from the ruling, along with our commentary.

Judge Paul Friedman's opinion begins with a dry recitation of the procedural history of the case. Pretty boring, although we did enjoy this sentence: "Plaintiff filed a motion to quash the defendant's notice of deposition."

Uh, if plaintiff had done a little less "quashing" of the defendant, then maybe we might not be here.

Judge Friedman: "As for plaintiff's motion for a protective order, it essentially requests that the Court place a gag order on the defendant..."

Gag order? Who said anything about gags? We thought Steinbuch's thing was hair-pulling. (But hey, they're not mutually exclusive.)

Judge Friedman: "[P]laintiff is distressed by the fact that this lawsuit has drawn media attention. Perhaps the plaintiff should have considered that fact before he filed suit."

Ouch. No additional snark necessary. As they say in the law trade, res ipsa loquitur.

And, in closing, this final salvo from the court:

Since counsel have shown themselves unable to abide by the Rules of this Court or refrain from engaging in unnecessarily litigious behavior, counsel for both parties are ordered to read the Local Civil Rules of this Court and Appendix B to those Rules -- the D.C. Bar Voluntary Standards for Civility in Professional Conduct -- and to abide by them in the future.

Double ouch. Counsel for both parties are also ordered to go to their rooms, without dinner.

The Court also briefly considered spanking both parties, but declined to do so -- because the parties might actually like that.

Steinbuch v. Cutler [D.D.C. (PDF)]

Earlier: For the Record: William Bode Too 'Busy' to Represent Washingtonienne

A Spinoff from Her Sitcom: Jessica Cutler's Legal Drama

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