Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Sanctions Awarded for “Filibuster” Deposition Tactics

The court granted plaintiff's ex parte motion to compel a further deposition and sanctioned defendant for its "filibuster." "It strains credulity to take the witness’s expressed inability to understand common terms such as 'what,' 'sales,' 'marketing,' 'does,' 'have,' 'use,' 'offer,' 'involvement,' 'which,' 'communication,' etc. at face value. The witness started the train wreck of a deposition by asking counsel 'to clarify' what he meant by such obvious words as 'responsibilities' and 'educational background.'. . . Counsel stepped up the attempt to disrupt any worthwhile examination by continually interposing inappropriate objections, 'cluing' the witness to ask the questions to be rephrased, and wasting everyone’s time trying to engage plaintiff’s counsel in banter. . . . The witness and his counsel may have taken some temporary pleasure in frustrating plaintiff’s counsel’s ability to obtain any information from the witness, but the judicial process and the public’s perception of it suffers. . . . Defendant is ordered to reimburse plaintiff for the attorney fees and court reporter fees it incurred during the . . . deposition and the attorney fees incurred in the preparation of the ex parte motion."

MAG Aerospace Industries, Inc. v. B/E Aerospace, Inc., 2-13-cv-06089 (CACD August 22, 2014, Order) (Mumm, M.J.)

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