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IF YOU LIE IN DISCOVERY, YOU MAY GET FINED AND HAVE YOUR CASE DISMISSED

Many people think that it’s part of the game to be cute or lie in discovery, particularly in divorce cases. I had one opposing lawyer argue before a judge one time: “Heck, Judge, everyone lies in divorce cases.” Well, if you get caught lying and you catch the wrong Judge, you might get burned. In EATON CORP. v. FRISBY, NO. 2011-CA-00019-SCT (Sup. Ct. Nov. 21, 2013) the Supreme Court upheld an award of monetary sanction for “intentional discovery violations” in the amount of $1,560,642.83 against Eaton Corporation and some of its attorneys for failing to disclose the identity of a witness and documents pertaining to the case. The attorneys for Eaton had tried to play games with a partial answer and a false and misleading assertion of a privilege.