Trials & Litigation
Judge sanctions lawyer for ‘obnoxious’ and ‘appalling’ deposition conduct
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A personal injury lawyer will be sanctioned for his deposition conduct after calling the opposing counsel “corporate shills” who “live in an alternate reality,” a federal judge ruled from the bench last week.
U.S. District Judge Stephanie Haines of the Western District of Pennsylvania told lawyer Thomas Bosworth that his deposition conduct was “obnoxious” and “appalling,” Law.com reports in a story noted by Above the Law.
Haines said Bosworth had “engaged in dozens and dozens of personal attacks” during depositions, according to Law.com. He also coached witnesses and made improper objections, Haines said.
“Your behavior was so far beyond the bounds of professionalism,” Haines told Bosworth.
Bosworth was a lawyer with Kline & Specter at the time. He has since been fired, according to prior coverage by Law.com.
Haines summarized her remarks in a May 3 court filing.
Bosworth apologized to the opposing counsel during the hearing for personal attacks and agreed that some of his objections violated the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. But he maintained that he had not coached witnesses, and that some of his objections were appropriate, Haines said in her summary.
Lawyers with Nelson Mullins Riley & Scarborough and Campbell Conroy & O’Neil had requested sanctions in a Jan. 31 motion.
Bosworthy called the opposing counsel “corporate shills,” and he also said one of the lawyers has either “a hearing issue, a personality disorder or a comprehension issue,” the motion alleges.
The law firm requesting sanctions can now file under seal an accounting of costs and fees that they are seeking against Bosworth, Haines said.
Bosworth did not answer a phone call placed to an online number listed for his firm. A recording said his mailbox was full and could not accept messages.