Minnesota: In legal memo lawyer writes about “dirty Catholics”, “bigoted Catholic beasts”

From the Catholic League:

ANTI-CATHOLIC LAWYER MERITS SANCTIONS

Catholic League president Bill Donohue explains why the Catholic League is filing a formal complaint in Minnesota and Wisconsin against attorney Rebekah Nett (she is licensed in both states):

On November 25, a legal memorandum was filed in the Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota by lawyer Rebekah Nett calling U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher “a Catholic Knight Witch Hunter.” Nett’s client, Naomi Isaacson, wrote the memo.

“Across the country the court systems and particularly the Bankruptcy Court in Minnesota,” the memo said, “are composed of a bunch of ignoramus, bigoted Catholic beasts that carry the sword of the church.” Moreover, one trustee was called “a priest’s boy,” and another was branded a “Jesuitess.” For her part, Nett called Dreher and other court personnel “dirty Catholics,” adding that “Catholic deeds throughout the [sic] history have been bloody and murderous.”

Isaacson is president of Yehud-Monosson USA, named after a joint municipality in Israel; her company used to own gas stations and convenience stores in Minnesota.

Judge Dreher, who has never been a Catholic, is considering whether to fine Nett and Isaacson $10,000 each for the name-calling.

We hope that Judge Dreher proceeds with the fine. We are filing a formal complaint with the Minnesota Office of Lawyers Professional Responsibility Board and a formal grievance with the Wisconsin Office of Lawyer Regulation. Nett should not only be sanctioned, she deserves to be disbarred.

Technorati Tags: ,

FacebookEmailPinterestGoogle GmailShare/Bookmark

About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
This entry was posted in Our Catholic Identity, The Last Acceptable Prejudice and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Minnesota: In legal memo lawyer writes about “dirty Catholics”, “bigoted Catholic beasts”

  1. Jim Dorchak says:

    Dear Lord Jesus, I do hate what this woman had to say to and about Catholics.
    She should have the right to say it though. She should not be sanctioned by the courts.
    If they sanction those who would say bad things about the Catholic Church then what is to stop them from sanctioning Catholics who say (good things) that abortion is wrong? That homosexuality is wrong? The list goes on and on. We have the right to say what we want to say short of the “Fire in movie theater” thingey, but more important is that we DO NOT….. HAVE THE RIGHT TO BE HEARD.
    Listen or shunn?
    This is why key boards have delet buttons, radios have dials, and they sell ear plugs, and why you are perfectly free to ignore this comment by me!
    Jim Dorchak

  2. KAS says:

    Such bigotry should be fined and sanctioned at the very least.

  3. kab63 says:

    “Judge Dreher, who has never been a Catholic…”

    So not only is Nett a paranoid bigot, she’s also not much of an investigator. ;)

  4. Banjo pickin girl says:

    Why did she file a memo written by her client? I don’t understand that. But I am fortunate not to have had to go to court about anything.

  5. AnAmericanMother says:

    Jim,
    Fortunately for the legal system, lawyers can’t just say anything they want.
    As officers of the court, they are bound by ethical restrictions and rules of professional conduct. They are not allowed to badmouth opposing counsel or the court (and the trial judge ultimately controls what goes on in his courtroom). They can’t just repeat what their client tells them (and that’s the excuse this lawyer is using) because they’re required to use independent judgment. And there’s a catchall “prejudicial to the administration of justice”. This qualifies, I think.
    With all that said, I think an investigation is going to reveal that this lawyer has some sort of problem other than disliking Catholics. This just smells like free-form nuttiness to me.

  6. Jim Dorchak says: Dear Lord Jesus, I do hate what this woman had to say to and about Catholics.
    She should have the right to say it though. She should not be sanctioned by the courts.

    This is not a free speech issue. This was a pleading filed with the court. It is a violation of the rules of civil procedure and the rules of professional responsibility for a lawyer to endorse and submit a pleading filled with opprobrious comments about the court. The lawyer should absolutely be sanctioned.

  7. jilly4ski says:

    @Banjo pickin girl

    Unfortunately for this lawyer, it doesn’t matter that her client wrote or filed the memo. She signed her name to it (Unless she can prove fraud). Per the rules of responsibility, she is responsible for any and all filings that bear her signature.

    I am also going to say that this is not a free speech issue. Attorneys are officers of the court and are bound by the rules of professional responsibility, and the rules of the court. Besides insulting the judge is a sure way to get sanctions and thrown out of court.

  8. Andy Lucy says:

    On a personal note… how exactly does one get the position of Catholic Knight Witch Hunter? I have a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum, and I am a 3rd Degree KofC… I even have a large balance scale and a duck. I am not afraid of newts. Where should I submit a CV, because that sounds like a cool gig.

  9. Jim Dorchak says:

    I am sorry, I was not looking at this from the legal perspective and I should have been. I am just afraid that the point of the spear will be turned upon faith filled Catholics in our efforts to overcome our critics. (Check that) We ARE now being punished for having Catholic beliefs.
    So I ask you: How do we respond?
    Jim Dorchak

  10. Banjo pickin girl says:

    I just wondered why a lawyer would sign something that her client had written?

  11. DisturbedMary says:

    She gives new meaning to the specialty “bancruptcy”.

  12. Banjo pickin girl says: I just wondered why a lawyer would sign something that her client had written?

    Beats the heck out of me. THIS lawyer wouldn’t.

  13. AnAmericanMother says:

    I just wondered why a lawyer would sign something that her client had written?

    Never heard of that happening. I’ve heard of clients signing affidavits that the lawyer has written (happens all the time) but not the other way around. Who’s practicing law here?

    As I said, I think we’re going to find something in play here other than anti-Catholicism. Like frothing paranoia . . . or maybe the brown acid.

  14. Andy Lucy says:
    10 December 2011 at 11:50 am

    On a personal note… how exactly does one get the position of Catholic Knight Witch Hunter? I have a copy of the Malleus Maleficarum, and I am a 3rd Degree KofC… I even have a large balance scale and a duck. I am not afraid of newts. Where should I submit a CV, because that sounds like a cool gig.

    Bad news I’m afraid – before you can apply you also need to have a set square, a Vikings bumper sticker and a signed copy of St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. You may then leave a voicemail on your local bishops answerphone and await his reply.
    LF

  15. Phil_NL says:

    @LF:

    Bad news I’m afraid – before you can apply you also need to have a set square, a Vikings bumper sticker and a signed copy of St Paul’s letter to the Corinthians. You may then leave a voicemail on your local bishops answerphone and await his reply.

    That would be a signed copy of St Paul’s third letter to the Corinthians, right?

    ( http://www.catholic-pages.com/grabbag/corinthians.asp )

  16. PostCatholic says:

    The St Paul Pioneer Press has the full story. Apparently this is serial behavior with Nett, and my reading of the facts makes me really wonder if Isaacson isn’t just completely round the bend. The civil rights of the members of the court need to respected, period. I’m glad Judge Dreher is holding these women to account for their offensive behavior.

    http://www.twincities.com/ci_19491382

  17. Atra Dicenda, Rubra Agenda says:

    This is so typical of these vitriolic anti-Catholic individuals. This person uses the phrase “ignoramus, bigoted Catholic…” and then follows it with vicious anti-Catholic rhetoric (“Catholic beasts”, “dirty Catholics”, “priest’s boy”). If you replaced the word “Catholic” in this legal document hate-speech with any other social category that has a history of being victimized (“Jews”, “blacks”, “gays”, etc.), most reasonable people would be in an uproar over it. It is ridiculous that the Catholic League has to make an issue of it for something to be done. Anti-Catholicism is the last acceptable prejudice.