Lawyer sanctioned for whispering to client during Zoom depo ordered to get counseling

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REUTERS/Andrew Kelly

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  • Federal judge found Boston attorney "improperly" assisted a client on remote video conference platform
  • Court in new order said attorney accepted responsibility, "something becoming increasingly less common"

(Reuters) - A Boston lawyer who was accused of exploiting the Zoom video conferencing platform to whisper answers to a client during a deposition was ordered on Wednesday to receive counseling.

The attorney, Jeffrey Rosin, managing partner of the Boston office of O'Hagan Meyer, last year acknowledged using "poor judgment" during the deposition in an employment-related case in Massachusetts federal court in which he and his client were both wearing masks.

U.S. District Judge Leo Sorokin was assigned to weigh any additional reprimand after one of his colleagues, U.S. District Judge Indira Talwani, found Rosin committed misconduct. Talwani said Rosin "exploit[ed] the remote nature of the deposition to improperly assist" a client. She disqualified Rosin from participating in the lawsuit.

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Sorokin's order said Rosin's conduct "plainly ran afoul" of federal civil procedure rules, including one that says a lawyer can be sanctioned for conduct that "impedes, delays or frustrates" the examination of a person at a deposition. He issued the order after a brief hearing that was mostly sealed.

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

Sorokin noted Rosin has "suffered several consequences for his misconduct" and declined to impose any further reprimand. He was forced to withdraw from the employment case, and his firm gave up $65,000 in legal fees.

"Most significantly, he has been impacted professionally and personally by the public nature of the reprimand, the initiation of this public misconduct proceeding, and the media attention garnered by the events," Sorokin wrote. "Finally, Attorney Rosin has also accepted responsibility for his misconduct, something becoming increasingly less common."

Sorokin referred Rosin to a group called Lawyers Concerned for Lawyers "for the limited purpose of receiving and completing counseling on better management of emotions and judgment in the face of adversity."

The case is In re Jeffrey Rosin, U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, No. 21-mc-91571-LTS.

For Rosin: Susan Cohen of Peabody & Arnold

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

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