A lawyer who claimed she was on a family emergency which led to her missing a court filing deadline has been fined $10,000 dollars after Instagram vacation pictures revealed the true reason. A federal judge in New Jersey imposed sanctions on the lawyer whose excuse for missing the deadline was rebutted by defending counsel in evidence.
Can’t be in two places at once
A motion against plaintiffs’ counsel Lina Franco and John Troy for sanctions and lawyers' fees was raised when defending counsel objected to a belated filing of a plaintiffs’ motion. They turned the court’s attention to numerous inconsistencies in Ms Franco’s purported reason for the late submission, which was that she claimed to be in Mexico City addressing a family emergency. However, Ms. Franco’s public Instagram account revealed that she was not in Mexico City when the motion was due, but in New York City and then Miami on holiday during the entire time she claimed to be in Mexico. The defence offered screenshots of the Instagram photos as exhibits, confirming her whereabouts.
Troy off the hook
The motion also requested sanctions against Mr Troy as he was responsible for supervising Ms. Franco’s conduct in respect to the late filing of the motion and her subsequent misrepresentations to the Court. When Mr Troy learned of Ms. Franco’s dishonesty, he immediately contacted the court, explained that he had been unaware of the circumstances, requested to proceed with the motion and urged the Court not to punish his clients for Ms Franco’s mistakes. While the Court granted the motions for sanctions against Ms. Franco, they reduced the amounts requested by defendants to $10,000, and denied the request against Mr Troy.