Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Are there also Kumbaya orders?

Judge Fred Biery, the Western District of Texas judge who got Newt Gingrich angry, has issued a "Non-Kumbaya Order."  It is here.  I did not know such things existed.  From the order it does not appear that either party made a motion for a non-Kumbaya order.  Getting to issue non-Kumbaya orders is yet another previously unknown benefit of being a judge.

Part of the Non-Kumbaya Order requires officials from a school district in Texas to apologize to an agnostic student and the student's family over the way the agnostic student was treated.  The agnostic student and family are required to accept the apologies within 10 days of receiving them. 

Some might ask the question, "does ordering a party to apologize as part of a settlement work."  One can imagine that being ordered to apologize might make the apology less than heartfelt.  I do not want to say that it is impossible for an apology to be genuine in such circumstances but I have never seen it.  I once saw a heartfelt apology at a deposition but it was not court ordered.

Shortly after the case in question settled, the superintendent of the school district called it a "witch hunt."  Given that, cynics will be forgiven if they doubt that the school district will offer a meaningful apology.

1 comment:

  1. Boy, if forced apologies don't work I am going to have to make some serious changes to my parenting strategies.


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