When you are the client - well, that just makes everyone snicker.
Anti-Vaccine Attorney Clifford Shoemaker Sanctioned For Abusive Subpoena To Kathleen Seidel of Neurodiversity Blog | Popehat:
I’ve decided it’s “lawyers behaving badly” day at Popehat. And for once I’m not just talking about me or Patrick.
Stand back, because I may burst with glee over our first entry.
Remember Clifford Shoemaker? He’s the anti-vaccine lawyer who hit Neurodiversity blogger Kathleen Seidel with an abusive subpoena because she criticized him and one of his anti-vaccine cases. Later Shoemaker — was humiliated when the court granted her pro se motion to quash the subpoena. When ordered by the court to show cause why he shouldn’t be sanctioned, he spun a ludicrous argument attempting to characterize Seidel’s blog-based criticism of him and his client’s case as a conspiracy to violate civil rights.
The other shoe has dropped. And it has squashed Shoemaker like a bug.
Kathleen published the judges entire opinion, feeling no need to add any comments of her own.
I almost feel the same. I'll excerpt a part of it. It seems apt to use virtual vermilion ink, for it doth have that cachet of offended official probity that reminds one of scenes from Chinese movies featuring the Virtuous Civil Servant.
Clifford J. Shoemaker’s action is an abuse of legal process, a waste of judicial resources and an unnecessary waste of the time and expense to the purported deponent.
The Clerk of Court is directed to forward a certified copy of this order, the motion to quash, the show cause order, and the response of Shoemaker and Seidel to the appropriate professional conduct committee of the Virginia State Bar in order that it may be made aware of Clifford J. Shoemaker’s conduct and so that those authorities may take whatever action they deem appropriate.
As a sanction from this court, Clifford J. Shoemaker is ordered to attend within three months, a continuing legal education program on ethics and on the discovery rules in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He is ordered to file a certification of completion of the programs.
James R. Muirhead
United States Magistrate Judge
For the play-by-play we shall return to the off-duty lawyers of Popehat.
As Derrick would say, FATALITY. This is not merely a victory for Seidel and defeat for Shoemaker. This is unqualified vindication for Seidel and a searing, public, ignominous rout for Shoemaker that should haunt him for the rest of his career, the Good Lord willing and Google don’t break.
Shoemaker and his attorneys Brian T. Stern and John F. McHugh should be ashamed (assuming they have the capacity for shame) for the naked attempt at silencing dissent and for floating the insipid “violation of civil rights” theory to justify that thuggery.
Sometimes the good guys win.
And one hopes that the Bad Guys will find a new career involving data entry or possibly odds-making in Vegas.