Plaintiff's lawyer Glen Morgan is used to having his way.
That's one conclusion to draw from Morgan's temper tantrum in Judge Donald Floyd's court last week, as he was trying his latest big-ticket lawsuit against chemical giant DuPont.
The multi-millionaire law partner of Beaumont billionaire plaintiff's lawyer Wayne Reaud, Morgan's lawsuit demands $4 billion, although he did say he might consider less. And if he wins, he'd stand to personally collect around $1 billion or more-- lawyers often get one-third of such an award. That's if he were to get his asking price, but he might be willing to take less.
All those zeroes emanating out of the Jefferson County courthouse sounded newsworthy to us.
It's safe to say Morgan doesn't share our sentiment.
Maybe that explains why he took time from making his case for billions on Wednesday to harass our reporter covering the trial. Morgan asked that our David Yates move away from his area to a place in the courtroom where he couldn't see a projector displaying plaintiff's evidence. Morgan warned that if Yates resisted his demand, he would seek to have Judge Floyd "make" him move.
Knowing that courtrooms are open to the public, our reporter called his bluff. Morgan steamed, eventually delivering a diatribe to the court aimed at this newspaper.
To summarize, Morgan didn't like our view of the merits of his case. He didn't think we were fair in our low opinion of the cause of action or his courtroom tactics in general.
The flashpoint came in the trial's opening statements four weeks ago. Morgan charged that DuPont's crimes against his client were so bad that the company's "right to exist should be taken away."
We took issue with his hyperbole, pointing out the practical, job-eliminating consequences of this position. Morgan says now that wasn't what he meant, even though it is what he said in court.
As a legal journal trying to shed light on some of the darkness shrouding our local justice system, we at the Southeast Texas Record accept such indignation. We draw the line when attempts are made to bully one of our reporters doing his job.
Our readers trust that we won't be intimidated. Not by anyone.
Glen Morgan included.