The Bounds of Zealous Advocacy in Discovery

I must believe that every litigator has encountered opposing counsel who, at some point, was suspected of abusive discovery practices. I certainly have. Where is the line between zealous advocacy and abuse?

Atty. Griev. Comm’n of Md. v. Mixter[1] ultimately disbarred a 34 year lawyer for a long, repeated course of discovery abuses. The opinion itself is quite long, but this level of detail was likely necessary to catalog the abuses and demonstrate no one abuse was merely a mistake. I would try to summarize the abuses but they are so extensive that summation may be a disservice. Worse, it seems during the attorney’s disciplinary proceedings, the abuses continued when he filed a defamation action against at least some of the witnesses against him.

I have never encountered anything even approaching the level of abuse the Maryland court discussed. I hope none of you do either.

[1] 109 A.3d 1 (Md. 2013).