Legal Ethics

Sanctions Motion Accuses Ex-Cozen Partner of Taunting 'Pansy' Opposing Counsel in Abusive Emails

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A motion for sanctions accuses a former Cozen O’Connor partner in Dallas of calling opposing counsel an “ignorant slut” and “pansy” in a string of emails over the scheduling of depositions.

Above the Law published the alleged emails. “We’ve seen some heated deposition transcripts in the past,” the blog says, “but we didn’t know that simply scheduling a deposition could get so nasty. Clearly, we’ve never practiced in Texas.”

The ex-partner is Martin Sweeney. His emails complained that opposing lawyer Chad Arnette of Kelly Hart & Hallman demanded artificial deposition deadlines and “whined about traveling on a Sunday.”

At one point, according to the allegations published by ATL, Sweeney emails Arnette: “That’s bulls— Chad. I told you I would get dates in March. I’ll quash and Rule 11 you otherwise. Don’t jack with me.” Arnette responds in an email saying, “Not sure where that came from, but if you are committed to getting us dates in March, that would be swell.”

Sweeney has this alleged response: “It came from ME. F— with me and you will have a huge a–hole. … I meant Rule 13 by the way, and I will make sure it comes out of your tight little pockets.”

Later in the email chain, Arnette says he will be filing a motion for sanctions. In additional emails reproduced in the sanctions motion, Sweeney continues to berate Arnette, calling him names including “pansy,” an “ignorant slut” and a “gutless attorney.” Sweeney also lists his home address and writes, “I’d love to meet you in person to fully express myself.”

The law firm emailed a statement to the ABA Journal that said Sweeney is no longer with the firm. “We expect all of our attorneys and professional staff to maintain the highest standards of professionalism and civility at all times in their conduct on behalf of our firm clients,” the statement said.

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