Monday, August 18, 2014

Is It Bad When the 11th Circuit Says This About You?


You tell me, they are talking about this guy:
All the more troubling is that Pugatch, a sworn officer of the court, actively obstructed Wortley’s efforts to obtain evidence of the plan to file for involuntary bankruptcy. He and his associate falsely responded to Wortley’s November 2010 discovery request by saying that “all non-privileged documents responsive to [Wortley’s requests]” had been produced. Wortley’s Mot. for Reh’g, Ex. H at 3. Clearly, some significant non-privileged and responsive documents had been withheld. Pugatch also represented Tarrant at the deposition, where Tarrant falsely testified that he had had no conversations with Juranitch about filing an involuntary bankruptcy petition. Having participated in the June 17–19 email discussions about the involuntary bankruptcy petition, Pugatch knew that testimony was false, yet he did nothing to correct it or to remedy the earlier failure to produce the June 17–19 email messages. The rules regulating attorney conduct of the Florida Bar required him to do so. See R. Reg. Fla. Bar 4-3.3(a)(2) (“A lawyer shall not knowingly fail to disclose a material fact to a tribunal when disclosure is necessary to avoid assisting a criminal or fraudulent act by the client.”); id. at (a)(4) (“A lawyer shall not knowingly offer evidence that the lawyer knows to be false. A lawyer may not offer testimony that the lawyer knows to be false in the form of a narrative unless so ordered by the tribunal. If a lawyer, the lawyer’s client, or a witness called by the lawyer has offered material evidence and the lawyer comes to know of its falsity, the lawyer shall take reasonable remedial measures, including, if necessary, disclosure to the tribunal. A lawyer may refuse to offer evidence that the lawyer reasonably believes is false.”). In sum, the parties, who had the evidence that Wortley needed to substantiate his claims, blocked his access to it and deliberately prevented him from finding it. Wortley eventually obtained the emails from a different attorney as part of another lawsuit, but that does not diminish Wortley’s due diligence or his adversaries’ apparent malfeasance in the litigation that led to this appeal.
More on this case by the Intrepid One here.

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

I want to take a hot shower after reading that opinion.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a fraction of Bernie Romans misconduct reported during his rule 11 sanctions before Judge Cooke.

Anonymous said...

Odd that Judge Huck sat by designation over his colleague Judge Williams?

Literati said...

@ 3:18--Beyond weird. I thought there were rules against that.

Anonymous said...

WWACD?

Anonymous said...

how huck doesn't see anything wrong with that is troubling

Literati said...

@ 8:53--Agreed, though he did vote to reverse her decision.

Anonymous said...

Where is SFL & his Tuesday post?

South Florida Lawyers said...

Pleasantly preoccupied, but it's up now.

Anonymous said...

Thank you, SFL.

Sincerly,
Your No. 1 Fan.

Anonymous said...

Keep your eye on the ball, folks. This is a supposedly well-respected lawyer from a supposedly well-respected bankruptcy firm. (Assume these are not oxymorons and send Lew my regards.) If this is run-of-the-mill stuff he did -- lie to the judge -- then we need more than a shower.

Anonymous said...

The bigger they are the harder they fall.

Muhammad Shoaib said...

Info is out of this world, I would love to read more.
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