A lawyer from Colorado, must receive a suspension for calling a judge as a “gay, fat, f–” in a work email with two of his clients, says a judge appointed an authority of discipline matters. Read on to know what exactly happened.
Who Is This Lawyer And What Happened?
Robert E. Abrams, is the lawyer who represented a married couple who are straight in 2016. This was for a case against a contractor. It was found that he violated the Colorado’s Rules of Professional Conduct judicial system that bans attorneys from showing a bias while representing clients. A conference was conducted with Philip Douglass, the Judge – to which Abrams and Nicoli Pento attended but not the clients. Reportedly the judge took a “hostile” voice with Abrams and he had to tell the wife and husband about why the case was not going well.
“The judge hates me,” wrote Abrams in an email to the clients. “It happens, it’s not the first time.” “I probably remind him of someone who beat him up [when he] was a fat kid. And now that he’s a big fat judge he gets even w/ the bullies. Maybe he just hates Jews, who knows?”
The coupled expressed some more queries regarding their case. Abrams revealed his one big reason for his worry to the couple. “The judge is a gay, fat, f*g, now it’s out there.”
Things however, took a turn for worst between the couple and Abrams. This led to them registering many complaints against him and gave up the emails as proof of his conduct which is unprofessional.
The Result Was A Hearing, Obviously:
An ethics trial was authorised against Abrams, by William Lucero, Colorado’s Supreme Court Judge. Furthermore, at the hearing Pento stated that Abrams in reality hurled tons of insults when speaking about Douglas, along with calling him a “fat f*****t”, a “homo”, “Judge Fatso” and “derivatives of those terms”.
Also, at the hearing Abrams defended himself stating he did not mean “f****t” as an insult which is anti-gay. Instead he explained “that’s how the bullies talked to the weaklings when I grew up”, by this word. That he used the f*g word to convey information that is useful to his clients. “I can read people,” Abrams told at the trial. “I read people very well. My street read on [Judge Douglass] is that he was a chubby little fat guy that was beaten up in high school, picked on constantly.”
Also this “street read” spidey senses said to him that the judge “now has the role that he’s gonna get even with the bullies”. And the “f*g” was an insult, simply used by the bullies. And not the anti-gay slang.
However, the disciplinary judge noted in his decision that Abrams did say that he knows that the word “f****t” is an anti-gay slur. Also, while Abrams claimed he called the judge a “weakling” too. But Pento refused to back him up since he said Abrams pretty much only used the anti-gay and body shaming words, while complaining about the judge.
Abrams, the lawyer, was far from done with defending himself:
Abram told that this disciplinary hearing was a furious political attack against him. Something around the words, if an attorney can’t address a judge as a “f****t” behind his back, then the USA he knew and loved once, ceases to exist at all.
“I came down here to clear my name that I’m not a bigot,” said Abrams. “That’s why I’m here.” To testify on his behalf, Abrams got his cousin Steven Givot, a gay person, to the court. The court noted this as “warm familial relationship.” Abrams also told that he represented a Denver LGBTQ nightclub Tracks. He said “always treated as a VIP” and attends events even now. However, his defense did not work.
The Final Judgement:
Lucero addressed in his decision like this – “Given [Abrams]’s other life experiences — corporate counsel to a major LGBTQ venue and close cousin to a gay man — we believe that [he] was well aware of that linguistic shift.” Meaning that is Abrams was really such a great ally, then he knew for sure that “f*g” is a slur which was not used only when he was a kid. And he just can’t play dumb.
Lucero concluded that, “The lawyer discipline system does not regulate bigotry. It regulates action. Here, we do not find that [Abrams] is a bigot or is biased. We find only that he engaged in conduct that exhibited bias. Thereby violating his duties to the legal profession. And the legal system to treat participants in the legal process with respect and dignity.”
“In his private life, [Abrams] is free to speak in whatever manner he chooses. When representing clients, however, [Abrams] must put aside the schoolyard code of conduct and adhere to professional standards.”
The court issued a three month suspension to Abrams. This is with maintaining disciplinary behaviour for eighteen months, attending ethics and “eight hours of cultural awareness and sensitivity training”.
Abrams however, did not give up. He is appealing this decision of Lucero to the Supreme Court of Colorado. Arguing that the evidence at this ethics hearing did not support his decision.
“In my opinion, there was absolutely no clear and convincing evidence from the exhibits at trial that I exhibited any bias whatsoever,” said Abrams to the American Bar Association Journal. “The whole thing is just obnoxiously political correctness.”