Are remarks about an attorney's oral argument actionable?
While doing a bit of research, I came across an unusual, and rather humorous in retrospect, 7th Circuit opinion.
Facts: back in the early 80s, a suit was brought challenging a city ban on gun dealerships, alleging various grounds including the Second Amendment. It ultimately made its way to the 7th Circuit, which (as would have been expected a quarter century ago) ruled against plaintiffs.
Following it, the Second Amendment Foundation's publication had an article stating that three attorneys were to argue in the Circuit, court had allowed 30 minutes for argument per side, and the agreement was that the first was to use not more than 6 minutes. Unfortunately, the article continued, he had used 13 minutes, throwing the timekeeping into disarray, and was rambling and often pointless.
The first attorney sued for defamation, seeking $5 million in actuals and $10 million in punitives. Okay.... As might be expected, he lost.
This is the first time I've come across an attorney suing over a description of his oral argument, and arguing the case in the same court in which the argument was delivered. (Tactical tip for those who haven't been in the appellate trenches: a three-way division of time, let alone of a mere 30 minutes of time, does require almost superhuman time discipline on the part of the first two speakers -- and leaves you open to judges on the other side trying to tie up the first two with questions in order to throw the third advocate off).