Judge takes over side-stepping charges of toe-tapping deposition

In a jam – toe and traffic introduced SLABBED readers to the “Houston lawyer who tapped a deponent’s foot under the table thought he was in contact with a pillar, not a person, according to an insurance company fighting a disqualification motion” – and the ABA Journal provides more on the story with Defendant Denies Lawyer Was Signaling Witness by Covert Foot Tapping

Two plaintiffs in insurance coverage litigation against Insurance Company of North America contend in their motion that something nefarious was afoot in the July 12 deposition…The motion, supported by a photo snapped by a paralegal, contends that Brown Sims shareholder Kenneth Engerrand was tapping the deponent’s foot in an apparent attempt to coach a witness.

“This was out and out witness tampering, followed by good ole misrepresentations of what had occurred,” the plaintiffs write in their motion…[that]…seeks to strike the deposition, disqualify Brown Sims from the litigation, and revoke Engerrand’s pro hac vice status.

Now well into my third year of following post-Katrina insurance litigation, I believe I understand why this story has captured the interest of SLABBED-reading plaintiffs’ attorneys.  It’s the judge or, rather,  how the Judge in this case – one Stephen T. Brown, Chief United States Magistrate Judge –  has responded with an Order scheduling a hearing into allegations of an insurance defense lawyer’s witness tampering during deposition : Continue reading “Judge takes over side-stepping charges of toe-tapping deposition”