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Brendan Faulkner and Michael D’Amico Cited in Amicus Brief

Posted on behalf of D'Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC on Nov 18, 2015 in Firm News

Michael D'AmicoA recent amicus curiae brief filed for the 8th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals cited an article written by Brendan Faulkner and Michael D’Amico in regards to discovery abuse. The brief was filed on behalf of the Iowa Association for Justice for an appeal in a case involving defective baby formula alleged to have caused brain damage to a child.

Amicus briefs are documents that provide information to appellate courts on a specific subject, to help with the decision making process of a case.

To strengthen the argument, the brief cited a scholarly article written by Brendan Faulkner and Michael D’Amico, attorneys at D’Amico & Pettinicchi, LLC. The article was a call for courts to curb discovery abuse by exercising their authority to impose sanctions on violators.

The brief focuses on the issue of manipulative tactics used in the discovery process and “Rambo litigators.” These practices harm fairness in the judicial process and deteriorate the public opinion of lawyers.

Some of the tactics Rambo litigators use in the discovery process include evasive responses, speaking objections during depositions, failure to produce documents, boilerplate objections to written discovery and making misrepresentations.

For example, Michelin was sued for selling defective and dangerous tires by a driver who suffered permanent paralysis and brain injuries from a 2008 car accident. In Bates v. Michelin, the court found that Michelin acted in bad faith during the discovery process, concealing information and obstructing the fact-finding process. This severely influenced the integrity of the trial.

Product liability defendants are notorious for discovery abuse. There are many other examples of major corporations trying to prevent information from coming to trial. These companies have considerable resources and multiple counsels to avoid accountability.

The discovery process is intended to search for facts so that a trial can be fair. Trials are supposed to be a search for the truth, not a game. A trial where facts are obscured or intentionally concealed can neither be fair nor reveal the truth. Defendants and litigators who abuse the discovery process should be held accountable by the courts.