Thursday, January 2, 2014

No Sanction For Paralegal Firm Switch Notice Violation

Sanctions imposed on plaintiffs' counsel in a medical malpractice case were vacated by the Connecticut Supreme Court.

The problem at issue was a paralegal who left the defendants' law firm and went to work for the plaintiffs' firm a year later. Defendant counsel sought assurances that the paralegal would not share information about the case. The sought-after assurances were not forthcoming.

The defense then sought disqualification.

The trial court denied the motion, finding that the paralegal had been properly screened but that the plaintiffs' counsel failed to comply with screening notice requirements. As a sanction, counsel was ordered to pay counsel fees for the motion.

The court here agreed that the notice obligation had been breached but found "no useful purpose in  remanding the case" for a fee calculation would be served.

The fees incurred for the motion were paid by the defendant's insurance carrier and collection had not been sought. (Mike Frisch)

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