Likelihood of Success

Ron Coleman’s pretty good blog

Slow of conscience

Posted by Ron Coleman on August 23, 2007

What you can find under the rocks just going through your morning mail in this business!

I just mentioned depositions in my previous post — now checking through the morning New York Law Journal, I see that New York’s Appellate Division has ruled that stretching out a deposition taken up against a court-imposed deadline by giving your answers in slow motion and dithering over documents is grounds for extending the deadline. It’s in a lawsuit against the PLO and the PLA, actually, trying to attach their assets to collect on a judgment for wrongful death obtained by the families of some of Hamas’s victims, based on the days when Hamas and Nobel-Prize-winner Yasir Arafat played nicely together. As the attorney for the plaintiff noted on the record:

tanenbaum.jpg“Mr. Tanenbaum [the lawyer for the PLO] has been evidently prepared, I assume prepared, to talk quite slowly, there’s long breaks between questions and the answers, inordinately long periods of time are spent perusing documents, including one time when I told him I’m only going to be asking about the first page of a document and I watched him read through each page of the document, which is admirable deposition preparation, but it makes things take a long time . . . .”

The Appellate Division, noting that no denial of these tactics was present in the record, considered them admitted and reversed the trial court’s ruling that no more time for the deposition would be permitted. Read the dissent — it’s blistering. I also think it’s wrong (the majority deals with it to some extent). Parties should not be denied substantial substantive rights by tactics like this, even if their attorneys could have done a better job scheduling the deposition. Judges sometimes make deadlines fetishes, and forget what’s really going on in their courtrooms isn’t merely their jobs; it’s other peoples’ lives. Or, here, responsibility for their deaths.

Incidentally — “Tanenbaum,” lawyer for the PLO? Here’s what the decision says:

In the course of discovery within this enforcement proceeding, plaintiffsarafat.jpg noticed James Tanenbaum, a former partner at Stroock & Stroock & Lavan. While at that firm, Tanenbaum was a registered foreign agent of The Palestinian Authority and represented both the Authority and The Insurance and Pension Fund.

Here’s Tanenbaum now (his firm, one of the absolute best, lost this appeal). This guy with the nice Jewish name also endowed the “Scholarship for Peace and Democracy in the Middle East” at his alma mater, Lehigh University, where he is chairman of the board of trustees.

Is that “peace” in the Nobel Peace Prize sense, or in the peace of mind for James Tanenbaum sense?

Stroock & Stroock & Lavan is a firm full of Jews of every stripe. The PLO practice, from what I have learned, was connected to Rita Hauser, a well known “peace activist” in one or both of those cynical senses of the word.

Shame on them. (Universities that have taken Tanenbaum’s and Hauser’s money, such as Lehigh, NYU and Harvard, are perhaps even more beyond shame than lawyers.) Every slime is entitled to a lawyer. But you don’t have to be that lawyer. (I’d be a rich man if I didn’t object to representing pornographers.) If you are, though, not surprisingly you have to resort to unethical tactics to represent your client “effectively.” The eat – up – the- deadline – with – slow – motion – deposition – answers is a new one to me. At least, for the moment, sleazy tricks on behalf of genocidal clients didn’t carry the day.

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4 Responses to “Slow of conscience”

  1. soccer dad said

    Hopefully, for every Tanenbaum, there a Strachman.

  2. jaymaster said

    Would you consider defending Israeli pornographers?

    Especially if they were undermining Islamofastic regimes?

    http://www.ynetnews.com/articles/0,7340,L-3440271,00.html

  3. No.

  4. jaymaster said

    Good answer!

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