Skip to comments.LA judge wrongly punished defendant for lawyer's actions
Posted on 04/07/2006 10:14:02 AM PDT by SmithL
LOS ANGELES - An appellate court ruled a judge wrongly punished a defendant for his lawyer's outburst during a deposition.
Jerome Renard and Mario Oliver were sued for fraud by investors who claimed they were paid only a quarter of the money loaned to open Linq Restaurant.
Renard lawyer Anthony Rodriguez got into a heated debate with the plaintiff attorney over a conflict of interest issue and Rodriguez stood up, shouted and pointed his finger within three inches of the attorney's nose.
The outburst was triggered when the plaintiffs' lawyer said he wanted to call Rodriguez as a witness, court documents showed. The plaintiffs' lawyer, who was not identified, petitioned for sanctions against Renard and Rodriguez.
But the 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled Thursday that Superior Court Judge Jon M. Mayeda went too far. The judge struck Renard's answer to the complaint and entered a default judgment.
Mayeda later awarded $1.3 million in damages, which included about $200,000 to compensate the investors and a $1.1 million punitive award.
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