Judge moves to sanction pattern of deposition objections

U.S. District Judge Mark Bennett of the Northern District of Iowa, presiding over a product liability case, has asked defense counsel “to show cause as to why he should not be sanctioned for the ‘serious pattern of obstructive conduct’ he displayed” in a client’s deposition, which seemed aimed both at interruption for its own sake and at coaching the witness as to how to answer. “The attorney objected so many times that his name was found, on average, three times per page of deposition transcript.” [Nick Farr, Abnormal Use]

Rather than fine the lawyer, Judge Nelson ordered him to create and write a training video explaining the basis of the sanctions and demonstrating how to comply with the rules during depositions in state and federal court.

One Comment

  • I am sure that the objecting attorney was responding more to the “aggression culture” of civil litigation than acting out of his own instincts. When you’re trained to object to every single written interrogatory with “objection: vague, overbroad, unduly burdensome and privileged” for anything but the name and address of the defendant, it sets a tone.

    On the other hand, the lawsuits themselves are typically nutty. Especially product liability.