Saturday, November 18, 2017

Ethics Requires Civility at Discovery Sessions

From the Thompson Hines firm blog:

When a court orders you to meet and confer with opposing counsel about a discovery dispute, it requires you to do “something more than bickering with [opposing] counsel ….” That’s what a California state appeals court noted in affirming $12,600 in sanctions against a defendant represented by a large national firm. According to the opinion, a partner of the firm was uncivil, patronizing and condescending to the plaintiff’s counsel. The court cited the transcript of the meeting.

The court didn’t consider any ethics rules in making its ruling; but the case is still a reminder about professional conduct, including Model Rule 3.4(d) (failing to make reasonably diligent effort to comply with a legally proper discovery request by an opposing party), as well as professionalism guidelines that your jurisdiction may have adopted, as my home state of Ohio has in its Lawyer’s Creed, for instance.

You can read the story here.


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