Labor & Employment

Librarian Who Sued Law Firm Over False Fire Alarm Arrest Seeks to Depose Defense Lawyer


Arrested for allegedly setting off a false fire alarm at Parker McKay on June 2, 2009, a former librarian sued the New Jersey Law firm and multiple other defendants last year contending that the incident involved retaliation for her prior complaints about her work schedule and pay.

Now Sheila Ciemniecki is seeking to depose the firm’s defense lawyer, William Tambussi of Brown & Connery, in her federal lawsuit, contending that he and he alone knows what his client’s motive was in allegedly withholding from prosecutors for one month surveillance footage that showed a man pulling the fire alarm, reports the New Jersey Law Journal.

After the footage was brought to prosecutors’ attention, the case against Ciemniecki was dismissed. She argues in her suit that the one-month delay helps establish that the law firm acted with malice and entitles her to punitive damages.

She calls the defense lawyer a fact witness in the case, the article reports.

But Tambussi says otherwise in a brief supporting a motion to quash Ciemniecki’s discovery subpoena. It contends that her effort to find out what those at Parker McKay told him about the surveillance footage is “based on a purely speculative assumption, namely, that if the additional video footage was produced earlier, plaintiff’s criminal proceedings would not have been prolonged and/or she would not have appeared in Municipal Court on July 8, 2009. Given the discovery record, it is clear that this assumption is baseless.”

Earlier coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Accused of Pulling Fire Alarm & Arrested, Librarian Can Sue Law Firm, Federal Judge Rules”

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