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February 08, 2007

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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Judge Easterbrook on Bad-Mannered Lawyers:

» Seventh Circuit Discourages Unprofessional Lawyer Behavior at Depositions from Legal Profession Blog
Chief Judge Easterbrook's recent opinion on the subject offers a list of lawyer don'ts -- and explains when, under the federal rules, a lawyer may instruct the witness not to answer. Reports on the opinion are found at Legal Blog [Read More]

» Annals of incivility from Overlawyered
It may not quite reach Jamail-esque depths -- almost nothing can survive that far down other than those curious tube worms that live on volcanic sulfide fumes -- but the lawyer misbehavior in the case... [Read More]

Comments

Ted

A censure for instructing a witness not to answer seems strict, considering the practicality that most parties would prefer that result to cutting off the deposition, and one unfortunately cannot be assured of a federal district judge who is as familiar with the current rendition of Rule 30 as Judge Easterbrook is. (Indeed, the district court judge in Redwood erroneously applied Rule 30 according to the appellate opinion.)

If one were to walk the tightrope that Redwood presents us, I would recommend objecting as follows: "We find that question objectionable. I would prefer not to suspend the deposition here to seek a protective order, but Rule 30 offers me no other alternative. Can we agree that you will postpone this question until the end of the deposition, and we'll seek the protective order then?" By doing this, one demonstrates good faith and places the burden on the questioner of choosing to end the deposition early over this question. That's not complete protection by any means: the questioner can stand her ground, and then still seek sanctions for the costs of a second day of deposition if the protective order is denied. It's an elaborate game of chicken, to be sure, and I've been on both sides of intimidating junior attorneys and having senior attorneys try to intimidate me in that game.

Michelle

The link for Redwood does not work for me.

Evan

Michelle: It should work now.

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