Lawyer Sanctioned for Calling Trial Judge “Succubustic”

A Succubus (At Least One Artist’s Rendition of Same)

A disgruntled lawyer dissatisfied with a trial judge’s ruling appealed from what he characterized as a “disgraceful order,” that reflected the trial court’s “succubustic adoption of the defense position, and resulting validation of the defendant’s pseudhermaphroditic misconduct.” The lawyer claimed that the ruling prompted him “to entertain reverse peristalsis1 unto its four corners.” See Martinez v. O’Hara, No. G054840 (Cal. Ct. App. 4th. App. Dist. Feb 28, 2019).

What is a succubus? The court of appeals looked it up in a dictionary: “Webster’s . . . defines the term ‘succubus’ as ‘1: a demon assuming female form to have sexual intercourse with men in their sleep—compare incubus 2: demon, fiend 3: strumpet, whore.’” Id.2

After considering the lawyer’s arguments–and rejecting them on the merits–the appellate court reported the lawyer to the State Bar of California for misconduct. Said the court: “The notice of appeal’s reference to the ruling of the female judicial officer, from which plaintiff appealed, as ‘succubustic’ constitutes a demonstration ‘by words or conduct, bias, prejudice, or harassment based upon … gender’ and thus qualifies as reportable misconduct.” Id. “[G]ender bias by an attorney appearing before us will not be tolerated, period.”

As to the rest of the notice of appeal, the court was dumbfounded: “We cannot understand why plaintiff’s counsel thought it wise, much less persuasive, to include the words ‘disgraceful,’ ‘pseudohermaphroditic misconduct,’ or ‘reverse peristalsis’ in the notice of appeal.” I can’t understand it either.

  1. Translation: The ruling prompted him to consider vomiting on the judge’s order. See Medline Video on Peristasis.
  2. For more on succubi, see this Wikipedia Article.
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