Do You Swear… ?
Litigant’s Language Leaves Lawyer Livid, Court Cites Counsel for Failing to Control Client
Posted May 1, 2008 8:01 AM CDT
By Brian Sullivan
You can call him coarse, rude, uncouth, obscene, dirty, nasty, profane, smutty and offensive, but Aaron Wider will probably call you worse.
Wider—the CEO of HTFC Corp. in Garden City, N.Y., which sells residential mortgage loans to lenders—was being deposed in September and November after plaintiff GMAC Bank alleged that HTFC sold it improperly underwritten loans that were not of investment quality and then refused to repurchase them.
Throughout the course of the two depositions, Wider peppered his raunchy ripostes with no fewer than 73 F-bombs, not to mention a plentiful assortment of other invectives.
Counsel for GMAC Bank tried gamely to persevere through Wider's outbursts and refusals to cooperate, but ultimately gave up and filed a motion for sanctions against Wider and his attorney, Joseph Ziccardi of Chicago.
In a 44-page ruling issued Feb. 29, U.S. District Judge Eduardo C. Robreno of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania granted both. Robreno called Wider’s conduct “outrageous” and Ziccardi’s complicity “inexcusable” for failing to control his client. GMAC Bank v. HTFC Corp., No. 06-5291.
The sanctions amounted to $13,026 for GMAC’s fees and expenses for the motion to compel, and $16,296.61 for fees and expenses in connection with the two ruined depositions, for a total of $29,322.61.
That’s almost $401.68 per F-bomb, in case you’re counting.