Magistrate Judge Brown -- Stupefied! -- Instructs on Proper Deposition Conduct


Yet again the litigation between Peter Halmos and his insurers have resulted in another classic order.

In this one Judge Brown attempts to explain to Mr. Halmos how witnesses (and their lawyers) are supposed to act at a deposition.

It starts pretty strong:
This matter is before this Court on plaintiffs' Objection to Judge Klein's Ruling of March 10,2010 (D.E. 586). The Court has considered the objection, the responses thereto, the reply, and all pertinent materials in the file. As usual, both sides have contributed to the problem.
But then Judge Brown gets rolling:
Mr. Halmos should understand that the scope of allowable discovery is rather broad. It is not the same as admissible evidence. There are a limited number of allowable reasons for refusing to answer questions propounded (and "I don't want to answer that question" is not one of them). For example, while the Court recognizes that he might not want to answer certain questions regarding litigation between he and his family, and would completely understand his desire not to go there, that is not a basis for not answering. Comments by other plaintiffs' lawyers ("So now we're going to have an additional 20 minutes of questions about litigation in his family?") are improper and do nothing to improve the situation. The reality is, the fact that questions may seem irrelevant to the issues in the case is not a basis to refuse to answer .... even though the information to be furnished may be unpleasant, and even though the information derived may later be deemed to be inadmissible in the trial.
Judge Brown is absolutely right about the sarcastic blather and potshots often thrown out by counsel for witnesses at a deposition, which serve no purpose other than to potentially derail the proceedings and allow the lawyer to feel self-important and in control of a situation he or she has no business attempting to control.

(That's not to say deposing lawyers can't take undue advantage of a witness and bully or ask about extraneous or improper matters.)

The motion and response are both fun reads too, btw -- including allegations of walking out of the deposition(!) upon receipt of the unfavorable ruling by Special Master Klein.

To be honest with you, there is a treasure trove of wonderful pleadings in this case.

If you can spare the 40 cents, I urge you to read the response to an order to show cause on whether the entire case should be dismissed as a sanction for missing an expert report deadline, which includes this wonderful paragraph:
But, these plaintiffs are suing their insurance agents and their carriers for monies owed to them. It is not outside the realm of credulity to suggest that insurance carriers take to heart Ernest and Julio Gallo's famed line: "No wine before its time."
Ernest and Julio Gallo?

Hey, you skipped right over Bartles and Jaymes!

(What decade are we in again?)

The actual Order to Show Cause is a hoot as well:
The Court is having trouble ruling on plaintiffs' motion only because the Court is, quite frankly, stupefied! In all its years as a practicing attorney and a judge, this Court has never seen the actions displayed in this case by plaintiffs and the unimaginable audacity with which they proceed.
See what I mean?


  1. Counting the number of emails from opposing counsel.....priceless!

  2. ST for the plaintiffs and for me? It's 4:46 on a beautiful day. Can squeeze in 9 at Riviera if I leave now.

    Ringing the ST bell.

    I'm outta here and you should be too.

  3. ST pick and roll, off to get stupefied baby.

  4. ST 1-3-1 low post.

  5. What the fug is with these comments??

  6. real fake coach sparanoApril 20, 2010 at 6:02 PM

    I prefer the cover 3 shumie zone rotating the sam backer over the tight end and dogging the nickel back on the weak shumie side.

    But that's just me.

  7. fake steve spurrierApril 20, 2010 at 6:39 PM

    I could not disagree more. You bring the corners up, press coverage man at the line of scrimage, cover two shumie with the safetys and shoot the will backer in.

  8. @724

    Mr. Halmos has made the career of many a lawyer litigating over one foolish claim or another. I guess he prefers to pay his lawyer than his shrink.

  9. Unbelievably embarrassing!

  10. Peter Halmos, along with many, including his accounting firm Meyers and Associates are helping and allowing this insurance fraud case to continue. Changing numbers to benefit for his behalf...only a matter of time before it comes back to bite someone in the a$$

  11. I don't understand why, if an accounting firm is assisting in this insurance fraud of this lunatic of a millionaire who makes his money suing insurance companies...why are they not investing this accounting's firm's records for proof. They all should go down!!!

  12. Stumbled onto this over entertaining. Peter Halmos and his entire fraud crew. How many can he pay to hide the truth? That he is a fraud?? Sounds like people are finding out slowly who covers up for him. 'Bout time.

  13. 675 docket entries since October 08... About 2 pleadings a day for the last year and a half.

  14. This Peter Halmos fellow.Quite amusing. Waisting money from past law suits to fund ongoing lawsuits. Good thing he has lawyers, accountants and friends willing to lie, cheat, forge and fraud for him. Wish someone would name his lawyers so I would know which ones NOT to use if I ever needed one. Same for Meyers & Associate. Mr. Halmos must be paying them good money for what they do.

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  16. You folks must be on the ACE/INA payroll. Those ACE/INA folks are very dirty players.

    You just may get a karmic spanking the next time you file an insurance claim.

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