July 17, 2014

The blogging federal judge tangles with the blogging corporate lawprof.

Judge Richard Kopf — the one that advised the U.S. Supreme Court to "stfu" — criticizes Professor Bainbridge:
I received some critical reaction from “serious” law professors regarding my use of “stfu” in my Hobby Lobby post. Here is a particularly florid one from a corporation’s guy who so far as I know has never stepped into a trial courtroom let alone any other courtroom.
For a second and a half, I wondered which corporation Bainbridge might belong to. You'd think that a judge knocking another man's writing ("particularly florid") would take care not to let a grocer's apostrophe slip into his own ("corporation’s guy"). And what's with the gratuitous "never stepped into a trial courtroom" backed with the lame "so far as I know"? And "serious" with scare quotes? You'd think a federal judge lambasting a lawprof would be more careful, less pettish.

Kopf continues:
Without intending to shove a stick in the eye of such types, I encourage them to read Christopher M. Fairman, FUCK, 28 Cardozo Law Review 1711 (2007). I then encourage them to grow up.
A violent metaphor, couched in denial, followed by an appeal to authority — a serious lawprof. I guess we're supposed to assume the appropriateness of a well-deployed "fuck." I haven't read "FUCK" yet, but I may get to it. I'll think about it. For now, I'll just say that a stick is a phallic symbol and aimed into an eye is close enough to a rape metaphor that I'd caution against using it in the same sentence as yelling "FUCK."

And here's Professor Bainbridge who — having been told to "grow up" — calls the judge "DummKopf."

ADDED: The "florid" post of Bainbridge's accused Kopf of "(thinly veiled) anti-Catholicism," which (understandably) irked Kopf. Kopf says Bainbridge cited no evidence, but the evidence was Kopf's own statement that all the Justices in the Hobby Lobby majority are Catholic. That's some evidence, but not enough to meet the burden of proof in the courtroom Kopf has no knowledge of Bainbridge ever stepping into if somehow the question of Kopf's anti-Catholicism were an issue.

40 comments:

Tank said...

Nice !

Gahrie said...

Oh Jesus Christ...throw them both naked into a gym shower, give them each a towel...two men enter, one man leaves.

Ignorance is Bliss said...

So did that serious law professor have his portrait taken in a wind tunnel or in a centrifuge? Wow.

rhhardin said...

I read a corporation's guy as meaning he worked for a corporation.

As a plural and compound noun it's too stupid to be a plausible reading.

rhhardin said...

Sharp stick in the eye is a standard second choice which is taken to be better than whatever the first choice offered is.

sydney said...

Ha ha ha ha! Watching so-called professionals get into pissing matches is always amusing!

rhhardin said...

A probably better treatment of fuck is Quang Phuc Dong's Sentences without Overt Grammatical Subject, actually by linguist James McCawley.

Conclusion : fuck is not a verb but rather an epithet.

sydney said...

Serious question- at what point in history did it become fashionable for lawyers to give their review articles "cute" names? Has this always been a custom or something new within the past decade? Is it because so many of them were English majors in college?

Brennan said...

Stop acting like a huge Kopf already.

Fernandinande said...

grocer's apostrophe slip into his own ("corporation’s guy")

That one is OK, unless "a corporation's lawyer" is also incorrect.

Some of the "grocer's apostrophes" on flickr are also OK:

http://www.grammar-monster.com/lessons/apostrophes_show_plural_of_abbreviations.htm
"You should only use an apostrophe in the plural of an abbreviation (e.g. "BBQ's"), a letter, or a number to assist your reader."

Ann Althouse said...

"I read a corporation's guy as meaning he worked for a corporation."

He's a lawprof who teaches Corporations, a law school course.

Just like I'm a Federal Courts person. I'm not a Federal Court's person. I teach Federal Courts.

Ann Althouse said...

It's like writing that somebody who sells used cars is a used car's guy.

From Inwood said...

Not clear what this run-on sentence means:

That's some evidence, but not enough to meet the burden of proof in the courtroom Kopf has no knowledge of Bainbridge ever stepping into if somehow the question of Kopf's anti-Catholicism were an issue.

Mary Beth said...

You'd think a federal judge lambasting a lawprof would be more careful, less pettish.

You would think, but you'd be wrong. I guess he knows what appeals to his audience and it does not require high standards.

Richard Dolan said...

Candor is an overrated virtue. The judge hasn't learned the wisdom that sometimes it's better to quit when you're behind, especially if continuing will only make things worse. That's pretty much where he is.

tim maguire said...

"so far as I know" Weasel.

Schmuck.

Lazy.

"Look at me! I can make a groundless accusation and it's okay because I admit I didn't do any research!"

Who's taking bets on when we see the first successful appeal of a Kopf ruling that cites his blogging as grounds?

DKWalser said...

I have a short list of people I don't ever want to tick off. Topping the list is Chuck Norris. Not much farther down the list are Professors Althouse and Bainbridge.

RecChief said...

The old saying "stick in the eye" reminds me of this verse: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:3).

Yet, you saw a.....rape metaphor?

This might say something about you.

But I'm not judgin'

Zedediah Grimm said...

And as to the rape analogy, who could ever forget this piece of cinematic gold? R. Lee Ermey at his FINEST!

Mark said...

At what point does the judge put enough of this stuff out there to make the assertion that he's unfit to preside over politically sensitive cases stick? In the eye or not?

Heyooyeh said...

Woah Althouse...I don't think you should be riding anybody for a dumb typo in a blog post, seeing as how you insert dumb typos constantly.

Ann Althouse said...

"That one is OK, unless "a corporation's lawyer" is also incorrect."

It's okay if he's a corporation's lawyer, but he's not. He's a law professor who teaches corporations.

traditionalguy said...

Dumbkopf is trying to get blog traffic. Or else he is naive and immature. Hmmm?

Ann Althouse said...

"Not clear what this run-on sentence means:"

It's not a run-on sentence.

If it's not fun to try to understand it, then we're not on the same wavelength humor-wise. That's okay. But it's not grammatically wrong.

Ann Althouse said...

"You would think, but you'd be wrong. I guess he knows what appeals to his audience and it does not require high standards."

"Appeals" is a word that gives a trial judge anxiety.

Ann Althouse said...

"The old saying "stick in the eye" reminds me of this verse: "And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother's eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye?" (Matthew 7:3)."

But that beam is just there. It's not "shove"d.

I think it's more resonant with the phrase "better than a poke in the eye with a sharp stick."

Ann Althouse said...

"Woah Althouse...I don't think you should be riding anybody for a dumb typo in a blog post, seeing as how you insert dumb typos constantly."

It's that he did it while insulting someone else's writing.

Which is what usually happens.

Anytime you call attention to a typo, you'll probably make a typo.

harrogate said...

The scare quotes around serious, I think, are called for if the person being described makes a big deal somehow, about how very serious they are. It does seem like Bainbridge tends that way, based on the links you've been providing.

As for the "corporation's guy" issue: what if Kopf is saying that Bainbridge is basically a corporate tool. One can teach Corporations and at the same time be ever at the ready to serve the the rhetorical and legal interests of Corporations.

If that's what he meant, though, then I would have preferred he said "corporations' guy." Which again, based on following this spat, seems to describe Bainbridge pretty well.

Tina Trent said...

The Judge: "I have been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about). And that brings me to the amusing debate about how (mostly) young female lawyers dress these days. Around these parts there is a wonderfully talented and very pretty female lawyer who is in her late twenties. She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes."

This thing belongs on a bench? What does the young woman attorney do the next time she appears before him? How do his peers justify allowing him to serve after making remarks like this -- in public, in writing, where they will be seen by all parties appearing before him?

This isn't a matter of using potty language: the asshole needs to lose his job.

David said...

Not just Catholic, but Catholic men.

Bad. Real bad.

Chuck said...

Judge Kopf:

When you are in a hole, stop digging.

I see that Kopf has attacked Rick Hasen too. I don't have a lot of affinity with Rick Hasen's election law theories. But one thing about Hasen is that he is an even-tempered sort of guy in a hothouse environment of contentious lawyering and blogging (election law and campaign finance rules).

I might be worried about Kopf's current meltdown if he was a conservative. Since he clearly isn't, I am just going to put another bag of popcorn in the microwave, open a beer and enjoy the show.

MadisonMan said...

I read one of Hasen's blog posts on this, and he used the horrible phrase "That's just sad" -- or words like that. I think that's sad. Something. It's right up there with "I expect better" (Who cares what you expect from me or from anyone else?)

That's just sad is a terrible say-nothing phrase on a blog. It's like he wants to criticize but can't get up the gumption to articulate anything profound. What a waste of time to read something like that.

paul a'barge said...

If you count the number of Althouse comments in this and divide by the total number of comments in this, I'm betting you will find the ratio to be the highest of any of Althouse's blogs entries.

Pretty cool. We got her going on this one.

Wen said...

Blue

paul a'barge said...

Does that Bainbridge guy live under a bridge and hop out and charge folks money to cross?

RecChief said...

The Judge: "I have been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about). And that brings me to the amusing debate about how (mostly) young female lawyers dress these days. Around these parts there is a wonderfully talented and very pretty female lawyer who is in her late twenties. She is brilliant, she writes well, she speaks eloquently, she is zealous but not overly so, she is always prepared, she treats others, including her opponents, with civility and respect, she wears very short skirts and shows lots of her ample chest. I especially appreciate the last two attributes."

This thing belongs on a bench? What does the young woman attorney do the next time she appears before him? How do his peers justify allowing him to serve after making remarks like this -- in public, in writing, where they will be seen by all parties appearing before him?"


At least he isn't politically correct. And perhaps she dresses that way precisely to elicit the reaction that the judge has. Perhaps she doesn't possess all those great qualities in the amounts that he says, but because of the last two, he is grading on a curve. Are you telling me that doesn't happen? I knew a staff officer who purposely wore T-shirts one size too small, because it was ok to take off one's uniform blouse (men and women both) during working hours in the CP. She did it for similar reasons as I imagine that female lawyer does.

JamesB.BKK said...

A stick is a phallic symbol? That just doesn't make sense. Trees are littered with them and drop them all the time. Nothing more to it.

Mary Beth said...

Tina Trent said...

The Judge: "I have been a dirty old man ever since I was a very young man. Except, that is, when it comes to my daughters (and other young women that I care deeply about)....


I did a search for that quotation and now I'm feeling a bit sorry for him. His blog post showed up on the front page...in 8th place. All these highly weighted incoming links and that's the best it can do. Even then it wasn't a link specifically to the post, it was to the "young female lawyers" tag archive.

In my corner of the internet, being out ranked is what would be rustling jimmies.

Joe said...

I seriously think Judge Kopf needs to see a psychiatrist. I read parts of his blog and his comments and he sounds unhinged. I predict an even more bizarre outburst from him in the future which won't end well.

LL said...

I agree, it sounds like Judge Kopf is losing it. I mean that in all sympathy and sincerity. I don't like seeing people lose their sanity in such a public manner, especially senior status federal judges.