Ethics: Misconduct in Remote Trial

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I recently wrote a blog Ethics: Misconduct in Remote Depositions.

The ABA Journal has provided an example of misconduct in a virtual trial.  D. Weiss, “Lawyer is suspended for coaching client using chat function during virtual trial” (ABA Journal Feb. 1, 2022).  Ms. Weiss reports that: “An Arizona lawyer has consented to a two-month suspension after he was accused of using the chat function on GoToMeeting to coach his client during a virtual trial.”

The attorney “was accused of sending messages to a divorce client during cross-examination by her estranged husband in Maricopa County, Arizona, superior court in September 2020.”  Id.

When the Judge told the attorney to stop, he allegedly replied: “It would be the same as if I shook my head in the courtroom.”  Id.

UPDATE: See P. Murphy, “Lawyer gets slap on wrist for feeding answers at Zoom deposition” (The Daily Record Jan. 25, 2022)(“In his order on sanctions, [Judge] Sorokin concluded that Rosin’s conduct at the deposition violated Massachusetts Rule of Professional Conduct 3.4(c), which prohibits lawyers from ‘knowingly’ violating other rules of court. On that count, Sorokin cited Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(d), which prohibits conduct by a lawyer ‘that impedes, delays, or frustrates the fair examination of [a] deponent.’ The judge further cited Mass. Prof. R. 8.4(h), which prohibits a lawyer from engaging in conduct that ‘adversely reflects’ on his or her fitness to practice law. ‘The conduct at issue here plainly ran afoul of these rules,’ Sorokin wrote. In deciding that Rosin’s conduct only warranted a referral to counseling, Sorokin observed that the attorney had accepted responsibility for his misconduct.”).