Cyrus Sanai wrote a column in The Recorder, a California legal newspaper, ravaging the Ninth Circuit for its treatment of the Rooker-Feldman doctrine. (Via Patterco.) He even humbly suggested that an en banc court hear the next Rooker-Feldman issue that came before the court. Guess what? He had recently filed a petition encouraging the court to hear that very same issue. Guess what (again!)? He was related to the litigants in that dispute.
Kozinski turned his pen on Mr. Sanai, and the results aren't pretty. Sanai, you're not just wrong, you're sneaky:
By failing to disclose his long-standing, active and abiding interest in the legal issue he discusses in his article, Mr. Sanai has done the reading public a disservice, cloaking his analysis with a varnish of objectivity. Worse, by publishing the article while he had a case raising this precise issue, Mr. Sanai used The Recorder to call unfair attention to his petition for rehearing, to the detriment of opposing parties who limited their advocacy to the briefs. And, by gratuitously drawing my name repeatedly into the controversy, he has also managed to disqualify me from participation in his case, skewing the en banc voting process.
I have strong views on some matters, but before criticizing Judge Kozinski, I would ensure that my arguments were air tight. Indeed, any thinking person would challenge Kozinski only if he or she were very sure about the merits of their position. But not Sanai. It appears that Mr. Sanai not only intended to make an ex parte communication with Ninth Circuit judges, he also foolishy took on Kozinski. This would make him, if not sneaky, then definately stupid.