Randy Johnston, who is often retained as an expert witness in a variety of cases, was quoted recently by The Texas Lawbook on a case where one attorney actually slapped the hand of opposing counsel during a contentious deposition.
The question was whether this was a breach of professionalism or whether it was justified. When asked about the case in a Dallas district court, Johnston was quoted as follows:
“It used to be where if Joe Jamail didn’t come after you, then you
didn’t do a good job with his witness,” said Randy Johnston,
a prominent legal malpractice expert based in Dallas. “In the 80s
and 90s, you had judges who wouldn’t do anything. They’d just say
you’re a crybaby (if you filed a sanction).”
But today, after various rules came into effect that mandated lawyers
to “grow up” and “treat each other with respect,” a conduct slip-up
“absolutely could have an effect on the rest of the trial,” Johnston said.
“It is not uncommon to have one sanction order upheld be like blood
on the water,” Johnston added. “It encourages the sharks to come in
and try to do it again.”