Uch mir!

This motion must have been fun to write.



MONICA SANTIAGO, Plaintiff, v.


Civ. No. 87-2799-T




Plaintiff, by her attorneys, hereby moves this Court pursuant to Rule 12(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to strike as impertinent and scandalous the characterization of her factual submission as “dreck” on page 11 of Defendant’s Rule 56.1 Supplemental Statement of Disputed Facts (a copy of which is attached hereto as Exhibit A).

As grounds therefor, plaintiff states:

For almost four years now, plaintiff and her attorneys have been subjected to the constant kvetching by defendants’ counsel, who have made a big tsimmes about the quantity and quality of plaintiff’s responses to discovery requests. This has been the source of much tsoris among plaintiff’s counsel and a gonsah megillah for the Court. Now that plaintiff’s counsel has, after much time and effort, provided defendants with a specific and comprehensive statement of plaintiff’s claims and the factual basis thereof, defendants’ counsel have the chutzpah to call it “dreck” and to urge the Court to ignore it.

Plaintiff moves that this language be stricken for several reasons.

First, we think it is impertinent to refer to the work of a fellow member of the bar of this Court with the Yiddish term “dreck” as it would be to use “the sibilant four-letter English word for excrement.” (Rosten, The Joys of Yiddish (Simon & Schuster, New York, 1968) p. 103).

Second, defendants are in no position to deprecate plaintiff’s counsel in view of the chozzerai which they have filed over the course of this litigation.

Finally, since not all of plaintiff’s lawyers are yeshiva bochurs, defendants should not have assumed that they would all be conversant in Yiddish.

WHEREFORE, plaintiff prays that the Court put an end to this mishagass.


Update A reader reports sending a link to a friend in New York and getting the following response:

This was stolen from a famous 1990 or 1991 NY State Supreme or Appeals Court opinion that got great play in the NY Times. It’s not enough that the Red Sox stole the ALCS and the World Series — now MA lawyers are stealing dicta from the NY courts and trying to pass it off as their own words.

I just passed along what I was sent. Note that if it’s a fake, it’s a skilful one, with a convincing-looking case heading.

On the one hand, the filing does sound more like Brooklyn than it does like Brookline. On the other hand, most of the Yiddish words are spelled slightly unphonetically: e.g., “mishagass” for mishegas (from meshuga = crazy) “chozzerai” for chazerai (from chazer = pig). That suggests that some of the lawyers involved weren’t actually Jewish, which suggests a Boston rather than a New York provenance.

Googling yields only Boston references, but they’re all identical and are clearly copied one from another. No date is given, which is suspicious; perhaps the whole thing is a hoax. Note that the primary scholarly source on Yiddish in the courtroom makes no reference to the supposed motion.

I’ll link to original documents if anyone has them. Otherwise, let’s put Hinderaker to work on this; it should keep him out of other mischief. Since it involves Jews and residents of Massachusetts and/or New York — all well-known markers for liberalism — the Powerline folks should be able to connect this dispute with support for terrorism without stretching things more than is usual for them.


It’s real, it’s from Boston, it was drafted by a non-Jew, and it came out of an interesting case. Or so Lowry Heussler reports.

Author: Mark Kleiman

Professor of Public Policy at the NYU Marron Institute for Urban Management and editor of the Journal of Drug Policy Analysis. Teaches about the methods of policy analysis about drug abuse control and crime control policy, working out the implications of two principles: that swift and certain sanctions don't have to be severe to be effective, and that well-designed threats usually don't have to be carried out. Books: Drugs and Drug Policy: What Everyone Needs to Know (with Jonathan Caulkins and Angela Hawken) When Brute Force Fails: How to Have Less Crime and Less Punishment (Princeton, 2009; named one of the "books of the year" by The Economist Against Excess: Drug Policy for Results (Basic, 1993) Marijuana: Costs of Abuse, Costs of Control (Greenwood, 1989) UCLA Homepage Curriculum Vitae Contact: Markarkleiman-at-gmail.com