We admit that we take the EEOC to task sometimes for overreaching – but not all that often. After all, we are a management-side law firm. A reader took us to task the other day for purportedly “gloating” about a court’s order that the EEOC conduct a press conference to retract a premature press release which violated court rules — we referred to it as the EEOC “apologizing.”
But our friends at Law360 went over the top with this one: “EEOC Trial Atty Botched Paperwork In ‘I Love You’ Suit: Judge.”
The lead-in paragraph reads: “An attorney for the [EEOC] botched his motion to argue a religious bias suit alleging workers of a health network were forced to participate in group prayers and other office activities centered around a belief system referred to as “Onionhead,” and will have to refile his bid, a New York federal judge ruled Tuesday.” See our August 13th post on “Onionhead.”
A loaded word, to be sure. A reasonable reader would reasonably read this Law360 headline and think that some EEOC substantive court submission was erroneous, or lacked merit, or that the EEOC attorney filed substantive motion papers that were defective thereby jeopardizing the EEOC’s case. And that the EEOC was somehow screwing up big time.
But no – this was not the case. The EEOC attorney simply filed an application to be admitted pro hac vice (i.e., an attorney not barred in a particular court seeks to be admitted to that court’s bar solely to appear and argue in one particular case) which, as is common, did not meet highly technical local court rules – and is easily curable with no prejudice to anyone or to the case.
Fair is fair, guys. Misleading headlines meant to disparage the EEOC is not fair journalism. And piling on does not make you look too good.