If Irecently gave a depositionand the opposing lawyer has threatened to give itto a local newspaper for publishing, is this legal?

Asked on July 21, 2010 under Personal Injury, Louisiana

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 10 years ago | Contributor

Depositions are public documents (unless sealed, but very few are, and that takes a court order), so it is probably legal for the attorney to release it. However, at the same time, it may very well be a violation of attorney ethics, possibly leading to sanctions against that attorney, for him or her to do so--it is trying to use the legal process (discovery) not to actually resolve a dispute, but to embarras and harass another party. You should contact your state bar association and ask for the contact information of the office, etc. which deals with attorney ethical complaints; explain to that office what the situation is. They will be able to tell you whether this might constitute something actionable. If it does, then even if the office cannot help you advance of any publication, you could in good faith and all honesty let the  other counsel know that you have received guidance that what they're doing is improper and that you will file a grievance against them if they go ahead.


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