Remember the case of Clifford Shoemaker, lawyer for the antivaccinationist mercury militia who tried to subpoena Kathleen Seidel under incredibly dubious legal reasoning in order to harass and intimidate her? Remember how the subpoena was quashed?

One word: Sanctioned!


Quoth Judge James R. Muirhead:

Clifford J. Shoemaker’s action is an abuse of legal process, a waste of judicial resources and an unnecessary waste of the time and expense to the purported deponent.

The Clerk of Court is directed to forward a certified copy of this order, the motion to quash, the show cause order, and the response of Shoemaker and Seidel to the appropriate professional conduct committee of the Virginia State Bar in order that it may be made aware of Clifford J. Shoemaker’s conduct and so that those authorities may take whatever action they deem appropriate.

As a sanction from this court, Clifford J. Shoemaker is ordered to attend within three months, a continuing legal education program on ethics and on the discovery rules in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. He is ordered to file a certification of completion of the programs.

Ow! That’s going to leave a mark.

How humiliating for poor Cliffy. He’s been ordered by the judge to go to, in essence, traffic school for lawyers to learn Ethics and Discovery 101. Better yet, he could well face additional sanctions from the Virginia State Bar. Overall, it’s not as much as I had hoped for but more than I had expected.