In Ahanchian v. Xenon Pictures, Inc., ___ F.3d ___ (9th Cir. Nov. 3, 2010), the Ninth Circuit reversed a judgment obtained as a result of opposing counsel's refusal to grant routine professional courtesies, and had this note of warning for the bar:
As Supreme Court Justice David Brewer once recognized, attorneys have an obligation as professionals to assume positions of important social responsibility. See David J. Brewer, The Ideal Lawyer, Atlantic Monthly, November 1906, at 587, 598 (“[T]he true lawyer never forgets the obligations which he as a lawyer owes to the republic, . . . he always remembers that he is a citizen.”). Moreover, attorneys, like everyone else, have critical personal and familial obligations that are particularly acute during holidays. It is important to the health of the legal profession that attorneys strike a balance between these competing demands on their time. See Patrick J. Schiltz, On Being a Happy, Healthy, and Ethical Member of an Unhappy, Unhealthy, and Unethical Profession, 52 Vand. L. Rev. 871, 889-90 (1999).
Slip op. at 18146 n.7. Thank you, Ninth Circuit, for making us all feel less guilty if we spend some time away from the office this holiday season.