An employee compensation attorney was placed on a 30-day ban and had to pay Florida cash charges for texting his witness incorrectly during a deposit and inadvertently sending the witness advice to the opposing attorney.
At the Florida Bar against James, an arbitrator at the Florida Supreme Court recommended that attorney Derek Vashon James, who was writing advice to a witness while testifying over the phone, pay $ 2,800 in expenses and be suspended for a month in actions.
Mr. James, who represented an insurer in an employee compensation dispute, was texted by an opposing attorney during the deposit of his Adjuster witness, but alleged that he only texted his daughter. Later, when he inadvertently wrote advice to the applicant’s attorney intended for the expert, she stopped the testimony and asked the judge to instruct Mr. Brown to produce the texts he had sent during the deposit.
Although Mr. James argued that since the adjuster was not sworn in for the testimony, he thought that he did not believe that communication with her was inappropriate, the judge in the proceedings found that some of the texts “Witness Coaching” and The Florida Bar filed a complaint against Mr. James, accusing him of wrongdoing and minor misconduct.
Although two witnesses testified that Mr. James had a reputation for honesty and fairness, the arbitrator found that Mr. James was “dishonest in secretly coaching the witness in what to say and in texting the opposing attorney lied “and should receive a month-long suspension and fine.
The Florida Supreme Court will review the arbitrator’s decision and make a final decision on the decision.