Fate Worse than Death?

Under the headline Decision of the Day: The Worst Sanction Ever?, Robert Loblaw reports on Willhite v. Collins, 06-1004 (8th Cir., Aug. 21, 2006), as follows:

Attorney David Van Sickle was a little too zealous an advocate for his clients in a property dispute. After losing several actions in state court, he filed the same suit in federal court. The district court was not amused, imposing monetary and other sanctions on Van Sicke, including a requirement that he take and — gasp! — pass a law school class on federal jurisdiction. The Eighth Circuit remands on other grounds, but encourages the district court to revisit this sanction because of the burden it would place on some unlucky law school to accept a practicing attorney as a student.

Seems to me the real problem would be if no local school would accept him; attending a single class out of town would be enormously expensive and disruptive. But otherwise, I kinda like the idea.

Might even be good for students, too, as a sort of ‘Don’t Let This Happen to You’ example.

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3 Responses to Fate Worse than Death?

  1. I am inclined to agree with the district court on this one. Maybe, they could also make him take more CLE hours on civil litigation and jurisdiction, though that may raise some issues of comity.

  2. Ereshkigal says:

    Sentence him to teach a CLE course on federal jurisdiction.

    If his local bar is anything like ours, he’ll be heckled mercilessly if he misstates anything.

  3. You misrepresented the decision(s).
    In fact, we won a remand for trial from Minnesota Supreme Court of Appeal.
    In fact, the clients support my actions all the way. See my website:
    In fact, the causes of action in the Federal Case were based on events occurring AFTER a State Court decision.
    In fact, the Federal Court declined jurisdiction, thereby avoiding the merits
    of the action, retaining only jurisdiction for the purpose of punishing me with the sanctions.
    In fact, I had brought another case for excessive force in this Federal Court, settled an ERISA case in this Federal Court, brought habeas corpus cases to this Federal court, and brought bankruptcy cases in this District without a problem.
    In fact, there exists an exception under the Rucker Feldman Doctrine that fits the facts of the Willhite case.
    In fact, in California, where I have practiced since 1993, the District Courts recently declined jursidiction by imposing the Rucker Feldman Doctrine, without sanctions.
    In fact, most practitioners in this District agreed the Federal Court should NOT have imposed sanctions.
    In fact, the sanctions have since been discharged in Bankruptcy.
    In fact, this particular judge has a reputation as a tyrant.

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