TD Bank In-House Counsel Sanctioned by Rothstein Judge

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TD Bank In-House Counsel Sanctioned by Rothstein Judge

TD Bank In-House Counsel Sanctioned by Rothstein Judge

Law.com-

After a thorough review of the evidence, a Miami federal judge last week publicly reprimanded TD Bank’s in-house legal team for blatant discovery violations in a lawsuit brought by investors defrauded in the Scott Rothstein Ponzi scheme. Criticizing the bank’s in-house counsel for being “conspicuously absent from any involvement in supervising or assisting in the litigation” of the matter, U.S. District Judge Marcia Cooke issued an order [PDF] that sanctioned the bank and outside counsel Greenberg Traurig for “a pattern of discovery abuses before, during, and after trial.

The case at hand was filed by Corpus Christi, Texas-based Coquina Investments LLC, which charged former lawyer Rothstein with fraud.

Vincent Catanzaro, global discovery manager for DuPont, says that for an in-house lawyer “that’s the worst thing you want to have written about you.” In-house counsel are supposed to resolve issues for the company, he adds, not be a hindrance.

In Catanzaro’s experience, judges don’t take too kindly to companies making misstatements about the completeness of their document production and otherwise failing to comply with discovery obligations. Cooke determined TD Bank’s legal team willfully failed to meet those obligations and didn’t help its outside counsel conform to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and Federal Rules of Evidence.

[LAW.com]

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