In GMAC Bank v. HTFC, Corp., (E.D., Pa., 2008), read opinion here, a federal judge in neighboring Philadelphia imposed financial penalties on both the deponent and his lawyer for abusive conduct during a deposition. The blog called Above the Law highlights key factual aspects of the case here, such as the deponent "using the "F-bomb" and its variants 73 times". It makes the deposition abuses outlawed by the Delaware Supreme Court in Paramount Communications, Inc. v. QVC Network, Inc., 637 A.2d 34 (1994), mentioned here, seem like child’s play.

 I have no interest in embarrassing anyone, so I will not use any individual names in connection with this post on the above GMAC case, but for those of us who are required to work in the trenches of depositions, it is helpful to have a court opinion that can be cited to as guidance and which can be used in response to those who abuse the deposition process but often are not called to task by busy judges who (understandably) do not enjoy "playing schoolyard monitor" when lawyers cannot "play nice". Of course, even if only one party is at fault, much like the schoolyard monitor, the court does not always have time to determine "who started the fight" and gets disgusted with all counsel. This 44-page opinion is a good example of a judge who took the time to spell out the infractions to carefully excoriate those responsible. ( I understand that the penalty imposed on the lawyer is on appeal.)  

 Let me also be clear that there are many opinions in Delaware that have drawn a clear line in the sand to define and condemn violations of the rules applicable to depositions, and many have been highlighted on this blog, but by necessity not every discovery abuse can be the subject of a formal written opinion, so when those opinions surface, as here, they need to be highlighted.

 For prior posts on this blog on the topic of Delaware deposition practice, (in addition to the above link to the Paramount decision), including cites to court decisions condemning violations, see, e.g., here and here and here.