Tuesday, September 18, 2018

How not to practice law: threaten another lawyer with a gun during a deposition

I am sure that there are lots of stories of lawyers threatening to fight during depositions; and, unfortunately even more of lawyers using foul and insulting language.  (Here is an example caught on video).  But today I bring you a story that combines both and takes it a step further.

As reported in the Legal Profession Blog, the misconduct involved a lawyer's behavior during a deposition at his office described as follows:
"When questioning the deponent, [the laywer] used vulgarities, called the deponent derogatory names, aggressively interrupted the deponent and opposing counsel, answered questions for the deponent, and repeatedly made inappropriate statements on the record. [The lawyer] went on to ask the deponent if he was "ready for it" while positioning his hand near his hip. The deponent briefly left the room, but when he returned [the lawyer] displayed a firearm he had holstered on his hip to the deponent and opposing counsel.]
Based on the record, the court called the lawyer's behavior "appalling" and found that there was substantial evidence to support a violation of RPC 8.4(d) (prohibiting an attorney from engaging in conduct that is prejudicial to the administration of justice). 

The lawyer was suspended for six months and a day.  Do you think the penalty is adequate? 

You can read more about the case here and here.

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