A Misbehaving Judge

Federal Judge Nicholas Garaufis went on an epic rant Thursday against the white-shoe firm Kirkland & Ellis for sending a rookie lawyer to defend media giant Facebook against two lawsuits filed by more than 20,000 plaintiffs accusing the social network of facilitating terrorism.

How dare they!?  Don’t they know that Garaufis is important?

He filled in that gap in their knowledge, though.

You tell your folks back at Kirkland & Ellis that if they think so little of this court that they didn’t send a partner here to talk about this kind of problem which implicates international terrorism and the murder of innocent people in Israel and other places.  I think it’s outrageous, irresponsible, and insulting.

I’m important, dammit!

Then he gave away his ruling on the case—developed even before the case had been heard in his august court.

Garaufis suggested that Facebook has a “social responsibility” to solve the problem raised in the suits. But when Burcher blandly replied that a lawsuit was not the proper vehicle, the judge unliked that answer.

“I’ve been a lawyer for 41 years and a judge for 16 years and I’m not having this discussion with you,” he said.

Never mind the importance of that particular discussion in this pretrial conference.  The judge is a very important man, and Facebook’s lawyer just wasn’t a big enough deal to be worthy of His Eminence’s presence.

This is a judge who needs to be removed from the case, and very likely should be removed from the bench.

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