A Florida state judge recently dismissed with prejudice a lawsuit alleging civil fraud involving the sale of a condo tower. During the trial, the plaintiff sent a text message to his employee, while the employee was testifying on the witness stand in that case. The texter, Yizhak Toledano, CEO of the company that had filed suit, texted the company’s CFO while the attorneys were in sidebar. Not only was the case dismissed, but the plaintiff, thanks to the CEO’s text message, was ordered to pay the defendant’s attorneys’ fees and costs.
It seems painfully obvious that texting your witness while he’s testifying is a very bad idea. What makes it more painful is that the plaintiff had improperly texted a witness during deposition just two months earlier, resulting in a reprimand from the magistrate judge.
[H/T Evidence Prof Blog]
Other Posts on the Intersection of Technology and the Law