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2023 Investigative Summary 8

INVESTIGATION OF ALLEGED FAILURE TO PROVIDE TIMELY DISCOVERY IN A CIVIL MATTER AND LACK OF CANDOR

A Department of Justice trial attorney reported to OPR that a court had granted, in part, a plaintiff’s motion for sanctions after concluding that additional attorneys’ fees and costs were required to be expended by the plaintiff for reopening depositions as a result of the government’s failure to timely supplement its discovery responses before the depositions in issue in the case were conducted.

Based on the results of its investigation, including OPR’s careful examination of the trial attorney’s handling of discovery and her representations to the court about discovery in the case, OPR concluded that the trial attorney acted in reckless disregard of her obligation to timely supplement the government’s discovery responses when she failed to inform the plaintiff about certain newly discovered documents prior to two depositions in the case, and even though the trial attorney produced the documents just before a third deposition, the timing and method of production denied the plaintiff the opportunity to review and use the documents at that deposition.  OPR also concluded that the trial attorney violated the rules of professional conduct when she knowingly made false statements of fact to the court and knowingly made false statements of material fact to the plaintiff’s attorney at a court-supervised deposition about the extent to which the newly discovered documents were previously produced by the government.

OPR referred the matter to the Department’s Professional Misconduct Review Unit.

Updated November 17, 2023