September 01, 2011

Sua Sponte: A Judge Comments

A skeptical judge responds to the assertions in Reimagining Arbitration.

Jeffrey Cole

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In 1921, Learned Hand lamented the “atmosphere of contention over trifles, the unwillingness to concede what ought to be conceded, and to proceed to the things which matter.” Things are no better today. Recently, Judge Sam Sparks of the Western District of Texas, fed up with the shenanigans of the lawyers in a case before him, entered an order inviting them to a “Kindergarten Party.” The order promised that there would be “many exciting and informative lessons, including how to telephone and communicate with a lawyer, enter into reasonable agreements about deposition dates, . . . and an advanced seminar on not wasting the time of a busy federal judge . . . because you are unable to practice law at the level of a first-year law student.”

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