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Attorneys Defend Attorney Hit with 1 Million Dollar Sanction
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nancy raynor

Summary: Attorneys strongly disagree with a Philadelphia judge’s ruling to fine an attorney nearly $1 million for supposed misconduct in a malpractice lawsuit.

There doesn’t appear to be anyone that agrees with the ruling against Nancy Raynor except those accepting the payment of the sanction. Several lawyers are speaking out, calling the second ruling by Judge Paul P. Panepinto of the Philadelphia Court of Common Pleas “unprecedented”.

  
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The sanction resulted from a witness alluding to a prohibited reference to smoking in a medical malpractice suit. The lawsuit resulted in a mistrial. The trial technician, Joseph Chapman, testified that he heard Raynor tell the witness not to mention smoking in their testimony. Judge Panepinto called the new testimony old evidence and thus not warranted in reassessing the sanction. The Judge also claimed the witness, Chapman, to not be credible and the timing of the testimony, years after the original case, to be a cause for concern.

The Judge used the term “alibi” in his statements, which caused other attorneys not involved in the case to wonder what court the Judge was ruling in, a civil or criminal. It has been questioned why the case was not sent to a disciplinary council if Judge Panepinto believes Raynor committed misconduct in the original case. A sanction is supposed to act as a deterrent for bad behavior committed by attorneys, but was never meant to be a punishment or source of payment to the parties.

Raynor has been ordered to pay $615,349 in attorney fees to Klehr Harrison Harvey Branzburg, $160,612 to Messa & Associates, the plaintiff’s co-counsel, and $170,235 to plaintiff Rosalind Sutch. Raynor was previously fined $44,693 for writing a letter to the employer of the plaintiff’s expert witness and removed from the case.

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See Judge Defends His Nearly 1 Million Dollar Sanction on Lawyer for more information about the ruling.

Source: http://www.thelegalintelligencer.com/id=1202724839842/Lawyers-1M-Attorney-Sanction-Over-the-Top?slreturn=20150330170202



Photo: philly.com



 

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