Supreme Court tag team shows loose-lipped attorneys the ropes

Legal News Line May 16, 2007, 5:00am

Associate Justice Ming W. Chin

SACRAMENTO -- California Supreme Court Associate Justices Joyce L. Kennard and Ming W. Chin are apparently quite the tag team when it comes to pulling wiseacre lawyers into line. Both justices recently laid a smackdown on two respected Golden State appellate attorneys for verbal indiscretions during a case of malicious prosecution, today's law journal The Recorder reports. Justice Kennard drew first blood, pinning Los Angeles attorney Robin Meadow for making the mistake of responding to a Kennard query by saying it was "not the right question." Kennard retorted that he mustn't have liked the question. She then slapped off to Justice Chin by quoting his doctrine on such statements: "We get to ask the questions, and you get to respond to the questions." Duly fired up, Chin then entered the ring against Meadow's opponent, Tony Tanke of Davis, and soon bounced him off the ropes for trying to sneak in new evidence. Twice Chin verbally cut Tanke off short when he tried to refer to earlier jury instructions. Meadow is a recent president of the California Academy of Appellate Lawyers while Tanke was once a research attorney for former California Supreme Court Chief Justice Malcolm Lucas. All Kennard and Chin need now is a snappy ring-name.

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