Hellish Deposition - Witness Repeatedly F-Bombs Questioning Attorney
Must have been "f-bomb the lawyer day." Mr. Aaron Wider is the owner and CEO of HTFC Corp. In a lawsuit brought by GMAC Bank against HTFC, Mr. Bodzin (GMAC's attorney) was attempting to take Mr. Wider's deposition. To say Mr. Wider was uncooperative would be an incredible understatement. Here are a few excerpts from the deposition:
Q. [By Atty. Bodzin] This is your loan file, what do Mr. and Mrs. Fitzgerald do for a living?
A. [By Mr. Wider] I don’t know. Open it up and find it.
Q. Look at your loan file and tell me.
A. Open it up and find it. I’m not your fucking bitch.
Q. Take a look at your loan application.
A. Do it yourself. Do it yourself. You want to do this in front of a judge. Would you prefer to
[do] this in front of a judge? Then, shut thefuck up.
Q. Sir, take a look--
A. I’m taking a break. Fuck him. You open up the document. You want me to look at something, you get the document out. Earn your fucking money asshole. Isn’t the law wonderful. Better get used to it. You’ll retire when I’m done.
Q. ... We’re going to adjourn this deposition if this happens again because you are offending every single person.
A. Don’t speak for anybody in here except yourself fuck face.
Q. I’m speaking for myself and I’m speaking for the Court Reporter.
A. If she had a problem with me she would say something. She knows it’s [not] directed toward
her. It’s directed to you because you’re a piece of shit and a piece of garbage and I’m the only
person in your life that is fucking up your world and I enjoy it. I enjoy it and when you sit there
and say I’m perpetrating a fraud I’m just better at the law than you are and you can’t get in the
fucking door and it’s pissing you off. Keep trying.
What what what? [Funnier for South Park fans.] Just how bad was the rest of the deposition? Per the court:
The above [which includes one more excerpt] are only a few examples of Wider’s hostile, uncivil, and vulgar conduct, which persisted throughout the nearly 12 hours of deposition testimony. In fact, Wider used the word “fuck” and variants thereof no less than 73 times. To put this in perspective--in this commercial case, where GMAC’s claim is for breach of contract and HTFC’s counterclaim is for tortious interference with contract--the word “contract” and variants thereof were used only 14 times.So what did the court do with this? Click below to find out.
But first, a few more excerpts from later in the opinion:
A. Deal with it because this is how it’s going to be like clock work.
Q. All right, sir.
A. And I’ll tell you what uncivil and what uncourteous is. Telling you to go fuck yourself is uncivil. If you ask a question, I’m going to give you a response. If you pry into my father’s death, I’m going to give you a response. If you fuck with my mental illness, I’m going to give you a response. And if you threaten to put me in front of a judge, let’s do it. I got all the time in the day, all the time in the day, and the judge will restrain you.
Q. Are you done, sir?
A. No, I’m not. We’re just beginning.
MR. ZICCARDI [Wider and HTFC's attorney]: Same objection. Go ahead.
A. My attorney just told you to get fucked and so did I.
MR. ZICCARDI: No.
THE WITNESS: Okay. That’s for the record. Q. First of all, your attorney didn’t tell me that. You told me that and now you can answer the question.
A. Go get fucked.
Q. You’re not answering the question?
A. I did answer your question.
Q. No, that’s not an answer to the question.
A. That’s my answer to your question.
A. My attorney very nicely told you that he objects. Fuck you. And I’m telling you on behalf of my attorney, fuck you.
And just how did this love-in end?
Q. Yes or no, did he ask you if you had any documents?
A. Shut the fuck up. Don’t raise your voice to me.
MR. BODZIN: We’re adjourning this deposition.
THE WITNESS: Good.
MR. BODZIN: We’re adjourning this deposition. We’re going back to the Judge. We’re going to let the Judge decide if this was an appropriate way for anybody to behave at a deposition. I’m not going to continue--
THE WITNESS: You don’t point your fucking fingers at me. You don’t raise your fucking voice at me. And I’m going to spit right back at you.
MR. BODZIN: I’m not going to continue to be subject to this harassment, this rudeness is absolutely inappropriate conduct and I’m going to adjourn this deposition right now.
THE WITNESS: Good.
Wow. So here's what the court did with it. The judge awarded GMAC almost $30,000 in attorney's fees and costs, imposed against both Mr. Wider and his attorney, Mr. Ziccardi. The judge also ordered that Mr. Wider's deposition be continued - at the courthouse, before a magistrate judge. I'm guessing there won't be as many f-bombs this time. The case is GMAC Bank v. HTFC Corp., Civil Action No. 06-5291 (USDC - ED of PA). You can read the court's entire Memorandum and Order here.