United States District Court, N.D. California
AMENDED ORDER ON DEFENDANTS' MOTION FOR SANCTIONS
Re: Dkt. No. 840
M. Ryu United States Magistrate Judge
events underlying this dispute were featured in a National
Law Journal article entitled “Lawyers Behaving Badly
2016: Deposition Edition.” An attorney became
frustrated and used expletives during a deposition. Then,
depending on whom you believe, she either threw a cup of iced
coffee, or “lost control of it” in the direction
of her opposing counsel. This sanctions motion ensued. The
court has considered the parties' submissions and oral
argument, and now orders sanctions as set forth below.
case involves a heated business dispute. Plaintiff Loop AI,
Inc. (“Loop”) alleges that Defendants, including
Almawave USA, Almaviva S.p.a., and Almawave S.r.l. (the
Almawave Defendants) conspired with Defendant Anna Gatti to
misappropriate Loop's trade secrets and interfere with
its business prospects.
Calafiore Healy is Loop's counsel. Thomas Wallerstein
represents the Almawave Defendants. The two adversaries have
a notably combative relationship. Their discovery disputes
have swamped the docket. The court has reviewed many
deposition transcripts which illustrate their contentious and
cringe-worthy exchanges on the record.
events underlying this sanctions motion occurred during the
deposition of Roberto Pieraccini on July 15, 2016.
Wallerstein took the deposition, and Healy defended it.
Proceedings had been underway for less than an hour before
things completely unraveled:
MS. HEALY: Objection. That's not the question --
MR. WALLERSTEIN: It's not, Counsel. So please be quiet.
MS. HEALY: Please don't give -- if you say that again,
we're going to walk out of this deposition.
MR. WALLERSTEIN: Be quiet.
Q. Sir -- MS. HEALY: I'm going to call the Court.
We're going to stop this. I'm going to call the
Court. Let's just go. Let's go.
MR. WALLERSTEIN: I don't advise that, sir.
MS. HEALY: Let's just go. I'm not going to be here. I
have the video of you insulting me.
MR. WALLERSTEIN: Sir, I don't advise it, but you need to
do what you need to do. But it's contempt. You're
under an order, a court order to be here.
MS. HEALY: You're not under court order. I'm not
going to be here with you --
MR. WALLERSTEIN: I'd be happy to show you the court
order, two of them.
MS. HEALY: We're not going to be here with you insulting
us. I ...