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The 7th Circuit held recently that verbal bashing of a lawyer in a published order cannot be appealed unless it comes with monetary sanctions, breaking with four circuits that allow such appeals and one that permits it only if the critique is specifically labeled a “reprimand.”

The 7th Circuit ruling came in the case of Leslie V. Matlaw, a Chicago attorney accused of “being less than honest” during a settlement proceeding before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jeffrey Cole in a 2005 race discrimination case. She’s currently considering her next step in the fight over a $40,000 settlement.

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