United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Orlando Division
B. SMITH, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
case comes before the Court without a hearing on
Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions (Doc. 25). Defendant has
filed a response in opposition to the motion (Doc. 30).
Plaintiff Christian Doscher asks the Court to sanction by
public reprimand, Defendant's attorney Scott A.
Livingston (Doc. 25). As grounds, Doscher alleges that
Livingston has: (1) demonstrated a lack of concern for
Doscher's scheduling needs; (2) falsely accused Doscher
of filing frivolous lawsuits; (3) called Doscher a liar; (4)
accused Doscher of getting enjoyment from filing
“nonsensical claims” that waste the Court's
time; and (5) has made “other similar express and
implied disparaging innuendo” (Doc. 25 at 1-2).
Attached to the motion are 50-pages of emails exchanged in
just three days, which Doscher says support his allegations
(Doc. 25-1). Of the many emails provided the one that
appears to have most offended Doscher states:
Contrary to your claim, Mr. Doscher, you do play. You play at
being an attorney. You file frivolous suit after frivolous
suit as you play being someone more important than you are.
You waste our court system's time on your nonsensical
claims, and you get off on wasting other people's time.
You play the part of someone who has a reputation to protect
when they are an admitted liar, purposely engaging in
“subterfuge” because he believes he has the right
to deceive people if it is for his self-benefit.
(Doc. 25, § 33). Doscher argues that Livingston's
emails violate Rule Regulating the Florida Bar 4-8.4(d) which
provides that a lawyer shall not:
engage in conduct in connection with the practice of law that
is prejudicial to the administration of justice, including to
knowingly, or through callous indifference, disparage,
humiliate, or discriminate against litigants, jurors,
witnesses, court personnel, or other lawyers on any basis,
including, but not limited to, on account of race, ethnicity,
gender, religion, national origin, disability, marital
status, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status,
employment, or physical characteristic;
R. Regulating Fla. Bar 4-9.4(d).
counters that the emails reflect the back-and-forth typically
engaged in by lawyers representing adverse parties (Doc. 30
at 3). He points out that Doscher admits in one email to
having engaged in deception and argues that in other emails,
Doscher impugns Livingston because he is a member of the
legal profession (Id.). Livingston agrees he has
made “forceful comments that also are not the best
representation of his thoughts” in response to Doscher
(Id.). And, Livingston observes that unlike the
spoken word, email does not include tone (Id., at
3-4). Still, Livingston characterizes Doscher as being
litigious, noting that a lawyer in another case called
Doscher “a known vexatious litigant who intimidates his
adversaries in the hope of squeezing money out of them to
‘make him go away'” (Id., at 5)
(quoting Christian Doscher v. Public Storage,
Washington State Superior Court, #13-2-00754-9, Dkt. No. 37
reviewing the emails attached to the motion, the Court came
across some from Doscher in which he tells Livingston:
Maybe that's why you suddenly shot me this condescending
email when you previously knew that I suffer from Borderline
Personality disorder and therefore knew that I do not take
unjustified insults or condescension very well. How many
other emotionally disabled people do you play this alpha-male
act with? Or is it just me?”
(Doc. 25-1 at 19-20).
Incorrect. And if you are the smart alpha-male you obviously
wish for me to perceive you as, it cannot be difficult for
you to skim the legal argument in my emails and respond to
any facts or requests for relief you disagree with. Your
defensiveness suggests you found my emails to be a blow to
(Id., at 20).
Court has quoted from only three of the many childish emails
Doschser and Livingston have exchanged (Id.).
Obviously this needs to stop. Both sides need to learn that
frequently the best response to immature behavior is to
ignore it. Don't react, don't sink to the other
side's level, don't try to fight fire with fire.
There are disagreements in every case, that is what
litigation is about. Most adversaries work out their
disagreements while remaining calm and professional. Doscher
and Livingston are admonished to discontinue this dumb
conduct, work on their demeanor, and behave ...