Houstonians were already hanging on every court filing in the divorce case of former hand doctor Michael Brown, but things just got even weirder. Brown's attorneys filed a motion to sanction Rachel Brown's lawyer, Marshall Davis Brown Jr., for allegedly making "extreme, outrageous, and sexually-inappropriate statements" to female attorneys on the case.
The Houston Chronicle 's Mike Tolson perhaps summed it up best when he wrote "[f]or anyone who thought the ongoing divorce trial between former hand surgeon Michael Brown and estranged wife Rachel could not get any uglier, recently filed motions in the case show that the well of ugliness might be bottomless."
In their motion, filed May 4, Marshall Davis Brown, Jr., is accused of saying a string of misogynist things to opposing counsel, including "referring to a female attorney as working for an 'escort service,'" "asking a female attorney if she wanted him to 'examine her breasts for lumps,'" and "referring to a female attorney as a 'c---.' a 'flat-chested bitch,' and a 'dumb shit.'"
The hand doctor's lawyers wrote that "the extraordinary nature of these insults" prompted them to take the "admittedly extraordinary step" of asking the court to intervene.
"This conduct demeans the integrity of the judicial process and is an unfair, egregious and inappropriate course of conduct. Moving counsel should be able to do their jobs without constantly bracing for a sexually-explicit volley from Mr. Brown," the motion says. The lawyers asked the judge to admonish Marshall Davis Brown for his conduct and make him donate $1,000 to the Houston Area Women's shelter as a sanction.
Marshall Davis Brown fired back in a response filed with the court, rebutting each accusation. He wrote that he "has never referred to any of Dr. Brown's female attorneys as 'flat chested' or 'c---' to their face, if indeed such words were conveyed to them it was done so by recitations via their male co-counsel."
On the claim that he referred to one of Dr. Brown's lawyers as an escort, Marshall Davis Brown had this to say:
[I] asked Philip Hilder when he appeared at the hotel in Miami with an immodestly dressed woman to whom [I] had not been introduced, if such immodestly attired woman was an employee of an escort service and, if so, was not 10:30 a.m. on a Friday morning a bit early for him to be in such company. It was only then that Hilder revealed the identity of the woman as that of Mary Olga Lovett, an attorney at the Greenberg Traurig firm.
Further in his response, Marshall Davis Brown went on to accuse Robert C. Kuehm, one of Dr. Brown's lawyers, for dragging his client Rachel Brown through the mud. He wrote that Kuehm called Rachel Brown a "crack ho," a "bitch," and asked a "drug test technician to describe the appearance of [Rachel Brown's] pubic hair for him in the hall of the courthouse."
Dr. Brown's attorneys sent a twelve-page reply to the court, slamming Marshall Brown for employing defenses that included "the 'I-Didn't-Have-the-Guts-to-Say-it-to-Her-Face-So-I-Disparaged-Her-to-Her-Co-Counsel' Defense" and "the 'She-Asked-for-It-By-Wearing-that-Dress' Defense." They dubbed the paragraph excerpted above about the escort a "truly Stone Age paragraph."
"The male lawyers in this case have actually found themselves discussing how to rearrange schedules to make certain that their female colleagues will not have to be alone with [Marshall Brown] - a stunning colloquy to have in 2012," they wrote.
It is certainly worth noting, as Sarah Rufca points out at CultureMap Houston that Dr. Brown himself "is not exactly known for his good track record with women, with a felony conviction (from beating his third wife in 2002), a herpes lawsuit, and another assault trial (where he was found not guilty ) on the books."
The motion for sanctions was set to be heard by the judge Tuesday morning.