Lawyer rebuked for threatening emails in insurance case

In the legal profession, sometimes strong and forceful language is used in negotiations. But a California lawyer sent a few e-mails to Allstate that could very well bounce him right out of practice.  

According to a story in the Wash Post, first, it was just vulgarity: “Pay up f—face,” attorney Christopher G. Hook wrote in November, demanding Allstate pay a nine-figure settlement to his clients.

Then, it got worse: “You are going to get [expletive] tattooed across the face.”

And worse: “Tell Allstate I am going to water board each one of their trolls that show up for [depositions] without any mercy whatsoever.”

And — this could be “hard to imagine,” attorneys for Allstate say — but the emails got even worse: “I know where you live Pete,” Hook wrote to one lawyer.

Until finally, on Monday, a federal judge in California was so appalled by Hook’s string of profane and threatening emails that he demanded the attorney resign from practicing law altogether, saying that Hook “just trashed” the profession, reported the Recorder, a legal journal. Both U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II and the team of attorneys defending Allstate insurance said they had never seen such behavior from an attorney.

Hook, who referred to the insurance company as a “criminal enterprise,” had argued that his profanity was just a settlement negotiation tactic.

“Tell you what, slick, this profession does not need you,” said Wright, a George W. Bush appointee in the Central District of California, according to the Recorder. “I am going to do what I can to remove you from this profession.”

Hook said he would not resign.

Forceful negotiation = good, but threats like these has the world questioning your sanity among other things. No matter how they’re handled, legal disputes are EVERYWHERE. When those things impact YOU and YOUR business like contract issues, landlord/tenant matters, nuisance ADA claims and even collections, call on the forceful, yet polite good guy business litigator Dean Sperling who will work to resolve YOUR matter with YOUR best interests in mind! 

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