White Collar Defense Partner Daniel Small will speak at an American Bar Association Litigation Section Teleconference titled, "Woodshedding Witnesses: Limits to What Could be One of the Law's Dirty Little Secrets."
The session will discuss the controversial practice of coaching witnesses for deposition or trial. Some have called coaching witnesses the law's "dirty little secret," because everyone does it, but no one gets caught. The recent case of Ibarra v. Baker, which upheld sanctions against attorneys for their role in improperly coaching witnesses prior to depositions, highlights the fact that they sometimes do get caught, and more importantly, that attorneys must follow the rules of ethics whether they are caught or not.
Panelists will discuss the limits Ibarra and other sanctions cases place on attorneys when preparing their witnesses for deposition or trial and the ethical rules applicable to such preparation. Peripheral issues such as how the rules apply to clients versus non clients and limitations on discussions with clients and witnesses during the deposition process will also be explored.
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