Top 10 lessons for litigating against the U.S. government

, The National Law Journal


Know your adversary — its strengths and vulnerabilities, its practices and predilections.

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What's being said

  • 30 Yr DC Litigator

    "Most" courts "insist" that government attorneys comply with the rules?

    That has not been my experience with DC federal judges who (with few exceptions) are loathe to sanction DOJ attorneys, many of whom are (or work for) their friends and former colleagues. Indeed, they go out of their way to avoid mentioning government misconduct in opinions (unless, of course, the litigation is being monitored by an outside group or the media).

    It may be true that DOJ officials pay attention to sanctions rulings (when they do occur), but that's only because, once the wrongdoing is in the public domain, the government has to brace itself for potential criticism or embarrassment.

    DOJ's general policy is to ignore misconduct that remains under the radar. It doesn't matter how obvious and egregious the misconduct is or how serious the harm. Just ask anybody who's ever tried to get the Office of Professional Responsibility to do its job. It's like talking to a brick wall.

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