Sagamore Hotel case: Judge blasts ‘wasteful’ attorneys

Paul Brinkmann | November 12, 2012

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In a written order, U.S. Bankruptcy Judge A.J. Cristol blasted attorneys in his courtroom for wasting paper on Friday.

He even threatened to make them plant trees.

The order came in a long-running dispute over LNR Partners’ attempt to foreclose on a loan on the Sagamore Hotel. Cristol ruled in favor of the Sagamore, which could mean LNR will lose millions in fees it hoped to recoup.

But the judge was angry over boxes of paper both sides brought to the courtroom and never used.

Here’s the final paragraph of Cristol’s order:

“The Court retains jurisdiction to enter such further orders as may be reasonable and just, including whether to sanction the lawyers who tried this case for needlessly killing forests of trees simply to display a show of force in the form of banker’s boxes filled with documents. Each side brought about 65 boxes to the trial and did not seem to use more than two – maybe three, at most. Wasteful! The Court believes the planting of 65 trees for each party may be an appropriate sanction, but it will decline to order the sanction at this time.”

Representing Taplin is solo attorney Isaac M. Jaroslawicz and Peter Russin of Meland, Russin & Budwick; LNR is represented by Scott Baena of Bilzin Sumberg Baena Price & Axelrod.