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Masked lawyer who whispered to client at Zoom deposition urges no further discipline

Masked lawyer who whispered to client at Zoom deposition urges no further discipline

After being accused of allegedly recruiting a client while wearing face masks during a deposition on the Zoom video platform, a Boston lawyer to "poor judgment" has urged a federal judge not to punish him any further for misconduct.

On Nov. 24, Jeffrey Rosin, managing partner of the Boston office of O'Hagan Meyer, responded to an addressing Massachusetts U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani's assertion that Rosin committed misconduct when he "exploit[ed] the remote nature of the deposition to improperly assist" a client in an employment lawsuit.

Lawyers and other professionals embraced remote-video platforms to conduct depositions and client meetings as the COVID-19 epidemic put travel restrictions and limits on face-to-face interaction, bringing their own set of obstacles for lawyers who were accustomed to in-person depositions where body language and eye contact were as much in focus as answers to queries.

On Monday, Rosin and his lawyer, Susan Cohen of Boston's Peabody & Arnold, did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Rosin, who focuses on franchise law, was accused of providing responses to a client who formerly worked with Barksdale School Portraits LLC in Aston, Pennsylvania. The firm sued Rosin's client for alleged workplace misconduct, and she filed counterclaims.

During the April deposition, Barksdale's attorneys discovered dozens of instances where Rosin was "audibly whispering answers to pending questions" during the April deposition.

Talwani, 31, from participating in the lawsuit, was sent to the court's chief judge to assess whether attorney discipline should be enforced. District Judge Leo Sorokin was assigned to weigh any additional reprimand.

Rosin's "actions were not a momentary or single lapse of judgment, but they were repeated several times over the course of the day," Talwani stated. Rosin's coaching "undermined the truth-seeking goal of discovery."

Rosin "concedes poor judgment and improper comments at the deposition at-issue, but requests that no additional discipline be assessed given the extent of the sanctions already imposed," Cohen told Sorokin.

On the day of the deposition, Cohen said Rosin "encountered significant technological and other adversity," but "does not seek to excuse [his] poor judgment."

Rosin has set up specific fees in the case, and Cohen said he is working with his clients in locating new lawyers. She said any "further discipline here would be disproportionate."

The case is set in re: Jeffrey Rosin, United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, No. 21-mc-91571-LTS.

Susan Cohen of Peabody & Arnold of Peabody & Arnold of Peabody & Arnold of Peabody & Arnold of Peabody & Arnold of Peabody for Rosin.

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