To the editor: During my practice years, I was always careful to avoid being used as a club to beat another party by bringing a frivolous and groundless lawsuit against that party.
If I did, I would be exposed, along with my potential client, to a ruling that I had ignored a cardinal rule of ethical practice, had brought a completely frivolous lawsuit, both factually and legally, in bad faith for an improper purpose which would place both of us in the same degree of guilt and expose us to parallel monetary damages.
This is exactly the situation reported out from the U.S. District Court in Florida where Judge Donald M. Middlebrook hammered both Donald Trump and his lead counsel, Alina Habba, with a finding that they had engaged in this form of disallowed action and levied a fine of $938,000 against both of them on a finding that they had undermined the rule of law by their action amounting to obstruction of justice. ("Judge fines Trump, lawyer for ‘frivolous’ Clinton suit," Eagle, Jan. 21.)
Perhaps I missed the report of any prior action by another judge who was equally offended at how often and to such a degree this former president and his hired hands have ignored the rules of law and engaged in such a “pattern of abuse of the courts” without a day of reckoning. This monetary setback will not endanger the solvency of the Trump empire, but it will be a subdued board meeting at Attorney Habba’s firm and a stern lesson for later Trump counsel.
Timothy J. Sullivan Jr., Pittsfield