When a lawyer files complaints and motions without a reasonable basis for believing that they are supported by existing law or a modification or extension of existing law, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer uses the courts as a platform for a political agenda disconnected from any legitimate legal cause of action, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer personally attacks opposing parties and disrespects the integrity of the judiciary, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer recklessly accuses a judge of violating the Judicial Code of Conduct with no supporting evidence beyond her dissatisfaction with the judge’s rulings, that lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law. When a lawyer abuses her privilege to practice law, that lawyer ceases to advance her cause or the ends of justice.And that's just from the introductory comment and order. The judge's opinion (PDF) goes into much more detail and provides the nuts-and-bolts Rule 11 legal reasoning behind the penalty.
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Regrettably, the conduct of counsel Orly Taitz has crossed these lines, and Ms. Taitz must be sanctioned for her misconduct. After a full review of the sanctionable conduct, counsel’s conduct leading up to that conduct, and counsel’s response to the Court’s show cause order, the Court finds that a monetary penalty of $20,000.00 shall be imposed upon counsel Orly Taitz as punishment for her misconduct, as a deterrent to prevent future misconduct, and to protect the integrity of the Court.
In short, this was the third time, and in the second federal court, where Taitz had shopped around her attempt to get a lawsuit started that would require President Obama to submit his birth certificate into evidence. Judge Land ordered her to show cause why he should not fine her $10,000 for violating Rule 11, and instead she filed a Motion for Recusal (PDF) against him that reads worse than most of the less-than-literate filings you see from pro se tax protestors. Accordingly, Judge Land has denied the motion and fined Taitz, attaching an opinion that's like a Cliff's Notes of what arguments not to make to a federal judge, even a Bush appointee (hint: don't compare yourself to Justice Thurgood Marshall and your case to Brown v. Board).
Mithras had wondered about the fate of the sad sack local counsel who must have vouched for Taitz in order for her to be admitted pro hac vice. Judge Land mentions in Section III of the Background part of his opinion that "[b]ecause of the alleged urgent nature of the request, the Court waived its local rule that requires counsel admitted pro hac vice to associate local counsel." But it looks as though the judge sincerely regrets that decision, since Taitz used much of her oral argument time to threaten the court that she would file "a wave of subsequent similar actions" if she didn't get the discovery she was fishing for . . . basically the exact conduct that Rule 11 aims at.
Why did the court double the threatened sanction? Because, by filing a nonsense motion for recusal and a "Motion for Enlargement of Time" (PDF), Taitz exhibited a "pattern of conduct reveal[ing] that it will be difficult to get [her] attention" without hitting her with a "significant sanction." Which is legalese for "don't accuse yer judge of treason in a signed pleading, dumbass." (Of course, it's not that simple. Taitz had forced the court to interrupt an ongoing jury trial, have an expedited hearing, draft multiple responses to her filings on an expedited basis -- and finally
draft the present order, which is longer than it should be because the Court must address the additional frivolous arguments made by counsel in her motion to recuse and also must make sure the Court of Appeals has the complete picture of counsel’s misconduct. Although the Court has not attempted to place a price tag on the time and expense caused by counsel’s misconduct, any objective observer can ascertain that it is substantial.But hey, look at the bright side. It's a textbook example of what Rule 11 is for.)
Finally, dig the court's footnote 11:
The Court wishes to explore the possibility of directing the financial penalty to the National Infantry Foundation at Ft. Benning, Georgia, which has as part of its mission the recognition of our brave soldiers who do their duty regardless of the personal sacrifice required and their own personal political beliefs. The Assistant U.S. Attorney shall file within thirty days of today’s Order a short brief outlining the position of the United States as to whether such a monetary sanction can be used for this intended purpose. The Court emphasizes that the Court is ordering the penalty be paid to the United States as required under Rule 11 and not to a third party, but the Court seeks to determine whether the Court is authorized to subsequently order that the proceeds be paid by the United States to the Foundation.