Chief U.S. District Judge Lee Rosenthal of the Southern District of Texas expressly rued having to use the term “butt shaking” in an opinion arising out of alleged attorney misconduct. The Judge was writing in response to a motion to sanction former BakerHostetler attorney Dennis Duffy for shaking his groovy thing and insinuating that opposing counsel was gay because he has a ponytail during a mediation in which Duffy represented his client Chevron Phillips Chemical Co. in an employment discrimination case. The Judge called the behavior “clearly outside professional bounds,” but determined that sanctioning Duffy was not needed.
“One of the sentences a judge does not imagine — much less welcome — writing includes the words ‘butt shaking’ in describing a lawyer’s alleged actions at a mediation. Sadly, those words fit here.
Duffy’s professional reputation, and the closely related ability to attract new business, will no doubt suffer, and they should.”
Duffy did suffer consequences as he was forced to withdraw from the case and is no longer employed by BakerHostetler.
In the interest of full disclosure, Red had some past interactions with Duffy when he was General Counsel for a prominent Texas university located in a large city. In his humble opinion, Red found Duffy to be pompous and insufferable but he never got to see Duffy engage in some righteous butt shaking – an opportunity missed.