Thursday, September 4, 2014

Federal Judge Criticizes Modern Discovery Practice

From IAALS Online:

"In a recent opinion issuing discovery sanctions, a federal district court judge in the Northern District of Iowa denounced modern discovery practice in the United States. Judge Mark W. Bennett began the opinion with a reference to Hamlet: “Something is rotten, but contrary to Marcellus’s suggestion to Horatio, it’s not in Denmark. Rather, it’s in discovery in modern federal civil litigation right here in the United States.” The court went on to discuss the current state of discovery, how it is too often “mired in obstructionism,” and how such inappropriate conduct is “born of a warped view of zealous advocacy.”

The court did not lay all the blame on lawyers, recognizing that judges often ignore such conduct, thereby reinforcing and incentivizing such tactics. With that, the court sua sponte issued sanctions against defense counsel for coaching witnesses and excessive interruptions during depositions."

Read the rest here.

(Scott Fruehwald)

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