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Evidently some lawyers and litigants don’t understand what it means to be “on the record” during a deposition. Either that or they don’t mind being caught saying or doing something untoward, ridiculous or downright horrible.

Every year stories surface of lawyers and witnesses lobbing insults—or nearby objects—at each other during depositions when things get contentious. Although 2016 was an outlier in many ways, it followed suit when it came to lawyers and litigants behaving badly.

The following lowlights stand out:



Seeking sanctions demonstrates a certain amount of animosity toward an opponent. Trying to get your opponent arrested takes it to a whole different level.

The Florida Bar this year filed a complaint against Bernardo Roman III for allegedly making a false 911 call in an attempt to get his opposing counsel in a legal malpractice case locked up. Roman accused Paul Calli of Calli Law in Miami of deliberately shoving pistachios in the face of his assistant—who has a nut allergy—during a deposition.

According to the bar, Roman’s assistant was actually forced to leave the deposition to seek care for an allergic reaction after the nuts were left out in a conference room by a judge. More than an hour after she left, Roman called police claiming Calli had pushed the pistachios in his assistant’s face and placed them in her lunch. The bar claims that Calli would have been arrested if not for the intervention of two judges.

Roman allegedly fired his assistant after she refused to back up his story.

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