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Lawyer accused of menace to have opposing counsel’s ‘rear finish sanctioned’ faces ethics criticism

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A Florida insurance coverage protection lawyer is accused of unprofessional conduct towards opposing attorneys and a litigant, together with a menace to have an opposing counsel’s “rear end sanctioned” over objections made throughout a deposition.

The Florida Bar accused lawyer Curtis Lee Allen of Butler Weihmuller Katz Craig in Tampa, Florida, in an Oct. 7 ethics complaint, Law.com experiences.

The ethics criticism has two counts regarding instances in Pinellas County and Pasco County. Allen represented Avatar Property and the Casualty Insurance Co. in each instances.

According to allegations within the first rely, Allen suggested the plaintiff throughout a deposition that it’s a third-degree felony to make a misstatement under oath and to commit insurance coverage fraud. Allen additionally knowledgeable the plaintiff that he knew the presiding choose and insinuated that the choose would throw the plaintiff in jail for mendacity, the ethics criticism says.

The “tone of questioning during the deposition was aggressive and intimidating toward the witness,” the ethics criticism says.

After being questioned for a major period of time, the plaintiff determined to dismiss his criticism with out prejudice and finish the deposition.

The first rely additionally accused Allen of participating in a “unprofessional and hostile verbal exchange” with an opposing lawyer.

The dispute involved the character of the opposing lawyer’s objections throughout a deposition. Allen advised the lawyer that he mustn’t “say a word,” aside from “form or instruct not to answer.” The lawyer replied that he would converse when wanted.

Allen responded: “And I’ll call the judge, and I’ll have your rear end sanctioned for this. We do not do speaking objections. Understand?”

According to allegations within the second rely, an opposing lawyer knowledgeable Allen that he had been by chance copied on an electronic mail that was “intended to be privileged and confidential.” Allen didn’t reply to 2 requests to delete the e-mail. At a listening to on the matter, a lawyer representing Allen lastly confirmed that the e-mail had been deleted.

The choose within the case later entered a case administration order that criticized the conduct of Allen and the opposing lawyer as “childish.”

“To say that this litigation has been hotly contested is an understatement,” the choose wrote. “Unfortunately, the aggressive advocacy of the attorneys of document has not been rooted within the zealous illustration of their respective shoppers however slightly flows from a transparent disdain counsel have for one another.

“The a number of volumes of the court docket file are stuffed with accusations that opposing counsel is being dishonest, has a popularity for litigating in unhealthy religion, or has a historical past of being admonished by different courts. During hearings, the animosity is palpable. On a number of events, the court docket has needed to intervene to stop an lawyer from saying one thing that was disparaging to opposing counsel and pointless to the concern being addressed.

“The manner in which counsel for both the plaintiff and defendant have conducted themselves in this case fails to uphold the ideals of the profession and has been quite simply, childish.”

Allen didn’t instantly reply to an ABA Journal electronic mail requesting remark.

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