Delaware County Legal Malpractice Attorney Discusses Ethics
This legal question was provided by Avvo.com. You can view the original question here.
Is threatening sanctions as a means to intimidate a plaintiff whose case has merit an ethical violation?
As an experienced Delaware County Legal Malpractice Attorney, I often speak to clients in regards to this matter. The answer depends on the facts of the case. In Pennsylvania, if a party has an issue with discovery requests then that party should file formal objections with the court. With those objections, the party can request attorneys’ fees and costs if the party also pleads reasonable grounds.
A party may object to the discovery if she has reasonable grounds to do so, e.g. the requests are overboard, burdensome, not reasonably calculated to lead to discoverable information, or privileged.
If your discovery is overbroad, burdensome, or vexatious then a court may award fees and costs (sanctions) if the Defendant’s objections are sustained. Because sanctions are available, it is not uncommon for them to be used as a “stick” to gain cooperation or to alter the other party’s behavior. Unless there is an absolute lack of grounds to threaten sanctions, then there is most likely no ethical violation.
Do you have questions about legal ethics? If so, contact the experienced Delaware County Legal Malpractice Attorney Paul Fellman.