Let’s say you have a colleague who is a bit of a heavy smoker, and said friend likes to work on her cases into the wee hours, chain-smoking Camel straights all the while. And let’s say you’re the sensitive type, so when you get the case files back, you think “sweet Jesus, did she light her brief on fire? Did something crawl in here and die???”
A normal person might pull the colleague aside and suggest that she might consider cracking a window while she works or maybe not use the deposition as an actual ashtray. A judge, however, would just yell at that person via appellate court decision, because that’s a totally rational thing to do. At least he had the grace to put it in a footnote.
Documents in an Indiana Court of Appeals case reek of an “unpleasant odor.”
So says a footnote in an opinion written last week by Judge Edward Najam Jr.
The judge’s footnote says the odor is “consistent with that of cigarette or pipe smoke that is apparent, offensive, and consistent. We kindly remind all those who handle the record on appeal to avoid such contamination.”
Apparently this isn’t the first time the honorable Judge Najam has felt the need to passive-aggressively yell at an attorney who just can’t switch to Nicorette or vaping. He smoke-shamed the very same attorney – Indiana’s Deputy Attorney General a couple of years ago.
Do you think the judge elbowed his colleagues out of the way to get to write the opinion on these smoke-infused cases? We kind of hope so. We also kind of hope that lawyers in Indiana start spraying their briefs with Polo Sport, Chanel No. 5, Axe Body Spray – whatever it takes to see if they can also get a smellslap from Judge Najam.