Magistrate Judge Goodman Cites Justice Scalia on Civility!

 Sanctions on Admissions                                                              
I'm beginning to appreciate Magistrate Judge Goodman's orders.

They have a certain directness to them, and his holdings are clearly expressed and supported by both logic and common sense.

This one dealing with sanctions for inaccurate responses to requests for admissions is a good example.

Although I do think there can be circumstances pre-trial where, akin to an sj ruling, a response can be deemed so false or inaccurate as to be sanctionable, for the most part I agree with the Judge's holding that this is reserved under Rule 37 for after trial or an adjudication of the disputed facts.

He throws in a Napoleon reference, also good.

Finally, I was right with the Judge up until the very last part of this quote:
In this spirited litigation, both sides have strongly pressed their positions at every junction and neither side has shown great willingness to make concessions, even on what are usually considered professional courtesies, such as accommodating colleagues’ deadline and scheduling issues. As a general matter, allegations of bad faith against opposing counsel, in addition to being in poor taste, are not helpful in aiding the Court’s adjudication of disputed issues. See ANTONIN SCALIA & BRYAN A. GARNER, MAKING YOUR CASE, THE ART OF PERSUADING JUDGES 34-35 (2008) (“Cultivate a tone of civility, showing that you are not blinded by passion. Don’t accuse opposing counsel of chicanery or bad faith, even if there is some evidence of it. . . . ‘An attack on opposing counsel undercuts the persuasive force of any legal argument. The practice is uncalled for, unpleasant, and ineffective.’”) (quoting Morey L. Sear, Briefing in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, 70 TUL. L. REV. 207, 224 (1995)).
Hold on -- Justice Scalia instructing on civility?

Guess there's a first for everything.


  1. Count the "I"s in his orders.

  2. If former Justice O'Connor reads this blog, she probably spit her coffee all over her computer screen as she read the quote.

  3. Being 1/4 Italian, that's the equivalent of shooting the bird.


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