Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Dress code suit costs couple $40,931.50
Anderson plaintiffs' predicament illustrates the risks of being your own lawyer...
I find this article very troubling. On the other hand, I haven't read the opinion.
Judge Tinder, meanwhile, has been promoted to the 7th circuit.
OK, now I've read the opinion. IP 07-0936-C T/L Bell v Anderson Comm. Schools, at http://www.insd.uscourts.gov/. There doesn't seem to be any more direct link. I did not see posted any entry on legal fees, so there may be more documents I haven't read.
Plaintiffs had a legitimate case that the 9th amendment protects their right to dress themselves. It might not win, but it's a nonfrivolous claim. Similarly, they raised First amendment grounds and cited to Tinker, and raised state constitutional claims, again nonfrivolous. They requested counsel for their minor children, which was denied, and the kids were properly dismissed, since the non-attorney parents can't represent them. I see no basis for the award of attorney's fees to the government. That's contrary to 7th circuit and Supreme Court precedent.
Update: Howard mentions that Marsha Marcia Oddi has the fees memo, so I'll need to read that next. pdf.
OK, done. The judge found their claims frivolous. I very strongly disagree, and consider this not just an abuse of discretion, but an error of law. The trouble is, they are pro se and apparently over their heads and don't know how to proceed. Filing deadlines are short. I wonder if promoting this blog post to some legal blogs would help find counsel? I'd be willing to serve as local counsel for an out of state lawyer. I am not competent to be lead counsel.

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