U.S. District Judge Sam Sparks of Austin is not usually one to keep his opinions to himself. So when a controversy ignited over his now famous “Kindergarten Party” order, Sparks was unusually silent — because he was unaware of it.

First some background: On Aug. 26, Sparks took aim at lawyers involved in a subpoena dispute related to a matter pending in a U.S. district court in Louisiana; some of the litigants filed a motion to quash subpoenas in his court. Sparks scheduled a Sept. 1 hearing for the matter in his courtroom and invited the lawyers in the case “to a kindergarten party. . . .” The “party” promised to feature “many exciting and informative lessons,” including “How to telephone and communicate with a lawyer,” “How to enter into reasonable agreements about deposition dates,” and “An advanced seminar on not wasting the time of a busy federal judge and his staff because you are unable to practice law at the level of a first year law student.” He continued, “Invitation to this event is not RSVP. Please remember to bring a sack lunch! The United States Marshals have beds if necessary, so you may wish to bring a toothbrush in case the party runs late.”

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