Legal Writing Tip No. 78: Don't Call a Judge a 'Bigoted Catholic Beast'

By Stephanie Rabiner, Esq. on December 14, 2011 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

The story of attorney Rebekah Nett has understandably been making the rounds. Really, who can resist laughing? She told a judge that her court is "composed of a bunch of ignoramus, bigoted Catholic beasts that carry the sword of the church."

We may find it funny, but Minnesota Bankruptcy Judge Nancy Dreher (the "black-robed bigot" and "Catholic Knight Witch Hunter") is taking the claims very seriously. Judge Dreher has asked Nett and her client to show cause why they should not be fined $10,000 a piece.

Nett's client Naomi Isaacson, who also happens to be an attorney, has responded. And the results are not pretty.

For those just catching up to the story, Rebekah Nett filed a motion to vacate a continuance order issued by Judge Nancy Dreher. That motion was rife with anti-Catholic bigotry.

Nett asserts "the Catholic judge" and trustee Nauni Manty ("the Jesuitess") are conspiring against her client. She calls them "inquisitors" and invokes Catholicism's "bloody and murderous history."

Judge Nancy Dreher is not Catholic, according to the St. Paul Pioneer Press. But Naomi Isaacson may belong to a Catholic-hating cult. Turns out the bankrupt company is a subsidiary of the Samanta Institute of Science and Technology. The Institute has a bizarre religious past, and the paper reports that many former members consider it a cult.

This may or may not explain Naomi Isaacson's response.

Addressed to "Popess Dreher," the filing accuses the judge of holding a secret hearing and issuing "papal bull orders." She calls U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Dennis O'Brien a "dastardly Jesuit," and the trustee a "mindless numbnut."

Unfortunately, Rebekah Nett has yet to respond to the judge's request. But her response may be bit more tempered--the Catholic League has filed ethics complaints with both the Minnesota and Wisconsin Bars. After her filing, Naomi Isaacson will probably be next.

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