Court slaps sanctions on atty who sued gun maker
It's a 34 page scanned pdf, so it is both detailed and slow to download. Reading the earliest versions of what happened, or was alleged to have happened, I find them incomprehensible. Bullets coming out of the trigger guard or the side of the gun? Then he changes to an out-of-battery discharge, but even that doesn't hold up.
The judge doesn't fix a number, but orders the defense to file its documents on attorney fees (with a hint that they shouldn't be tempted to pad things out). I suspect this will be a VERY expensive mistake.
Its never said, but it sure looks like the judge is convinced that the plaintiff intentionally damages the gun post-accident.
Posted by: SPQR at November 26, 2012 07:12 PM
Reading through the whole case, I'm not a lawyer, but the judges repeatedly note that the lawyer being sanctioned not only failed to do due diligence about investigating whether a failure of the type he described was possible, but he continued to pursue that claim after it was fairly solidly refuted by the defendant's expert witnesses, and even undermined his own expert witnesses by failing to provide them with adequate explanations of what was claimed to have happened or of what the defendant's proposed might have happened (namely, that the physical damage to the pistol was consistent with the damage done by shooting a pistol with another gun, with the pictures submitted by the defendants matching the actual evidence gun so closely that the plaintiff's expert witness thought they were just pictures of it).
The medical evidence would also support this theory, since the wound was a through-and-through injury with no mention of stippling or fragments of bullet or case, as would normally be expected in an out-of-battery discharge or close range self-inflicted gunshot. That the plaintiff's lawyer didn't even refer to an expert witness on gunshot wounds to determine whether his client's story matched the evidence would just be further evidence that he failed to exercise due diligence under Rule 11 in his filings.
Posted by: James at November 26, 2012 11:47 PM
If judges have to write so much to justify sanctions, it's no wonder that it happens so seldom!
Posted by: Jeff at November 27, 2012 07:50 AM
I'm particularly sensitive to failures to exercise due diligence right now, a major client is undergoing an IT audit right now after a change in management, and the auditing firm has been making claims that the client does not need to upgrade server capacity to support new requirements without ever actually reviewing the actual configuration or utilization of the existing servers. So for the past two weeks I've been having to deal with vendors and generating capacity reports to support the requested upgrades and demonstrate that our company is properly managing the client's resources, on top of my normal workload.
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