H&F Obtains Federal Sanctions Order against Defense Attorney for Improper Deposition Conduct

As covered in the New York Law Journal (and in The New York Post and Daily News), Eastern District of New York U.S. Magistrate Judge the Hon. Cheryl L. Pollak granted a request for sanctions brought by H&F client Hector Corder in the matter of Cordero v. City of New York, 15 CV 3436 (JBW) (CLP), a § 1983 civil rights lawsuit alleging false arrest, malicious prosecution and related claims.

The Court imposed sanctions against defense counsel Amatullah K. Booth, Esq. (representing the City of New York and several police officers) pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(d)(2), for counsel's conduct during the deposition of defendant John Essig.

Citing a "plethora of speaking objections," the Court held that Ms. Booth "acted improperly" in asserting over 600 objections across 84% of the deposition's pages:

The behavior of defendants' counsel clearly impeded the progress of and unnecessarily extended the length of the deposition, particularly given that certain questions, including whether there were any requirements for memo book entries, were left unanswered.

The Court found that "[a]t times, Ms. Booth directed her witness not to answer questions on the basis that they had already been asked and answered, even though they had not been answered."

Defendants were ordered to pay plaintiff's costs related to the deposition, and the Court allowed plaintiff an opportunity to continue the deposition of defendant Essig.

Read the Court's decision here. The decision was also reprinted as a "decision of interest" in the Law Journal.