May 22, 2014
C. Pierce Campbell, shareholder in our Florence office, was recently interviewed for an article in the May 2014 ABA Litigation News entitled, “Discovery Abuse Warrants Informing Jury of Misconduct.” In First Mariner Bank v. The Resolution Law Group, a Maryland federal court found that a defendant law firm’s repeated discovery abuses warranted an order of monetary sanctions. The decision may signal that courts are more willing to employ sanctions for such abuses, including disclosing misconduct to jurors.
“The discovery abuses committed by defendant are some of the more egregious violations that I have seen, specifically given that the defendant itself is a law firm,” said C. Pierce Campbell, co-chair of the ABA Section of Litigation’s Business Torts and Unfair Competition Litigation Committee. “Though practitioners tend not to involve the courts in discovery disputes, this case showed that in a particularly egregious case it behooves counsel to go to the court early and often to create a record of the abuse,” said Campbell.
Campbell went on to say, “It is hard to say if the court’s jury instruction sanction will be effective; it depends on other evidence of defendant’s lack of veracity that plaintiff develops at trial. If plaintiff develops other evidence of defendant’s untruthfulness, the court’s sanction could be a killer.” Click here for the full article.