Recently, I attended a non-party deposition in a commercial litigation matter arising out of a dispute over who is the rightful owner of a particular property in New York. As is often the case, the attorney conducting the deposition was less than thrilled at the answers given by the witness. So, first he tried to refresh the witness's recollection. Then he tried to trick the witness by suggesting answers to the questions that he knew were false. And then he proceeded to remind the witness - at least 3 times - about the penalties for perjury, and suggested that incarceration was a foreseeable possibility. While I didn't care for his tactics - particularly the latter two - what came next was inexcusable. He flat-out charged the witness with disgracing his religion by failing to give "better" answers to the questions. This attorney has made it to my (extremely short) list of people that I don't communicate with unless it is in writing. And it is attorneys who practice in this fashion that has led to the "sterling" reputation that has made us the butt of so many lawyer jokes.

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