Hardcore Deposition: Lawyer Uses a Gun
Ask a seasoned court reporter to tell you a wild deposition story, and you'll hear an unbelievable tale.
But unlike people who tell a fish-that-got-away story, court reporters have transcripts to prove it. That's why the case of the gun-toting lawyer is a real classic.
Las Vegas attorney James Pengilly says he didn't use a gun in a deposition to intimidate a witness. Based on the deposition transcript, however, disciplinary authorities didn't buy his story.
Lawyers, like anybody, can get angry in a deposition. The crafty ones learn not to show it -- at least not on the record.
Pengilly was not that crafty. It started with name-calling, escalated to cursing, then chest-beating, and finally the gun. Opposing counsel Dale Hayes, Jr. couldn't believe his eyes:
Hayes: "What are you doing now? If you pull the gun, I'm going to call the police."
Pengilly: "Get out of here. Get out of here right now."
Hayes: "Are you recording this?"
Wishing he had it on video, Hayes described it for the record. The court reporter nervously kept typing.
Hayes: "He's grabbing a gun with his right hand in his back pocket."
Of course, the deposition was suspended -- and so was Pengilly. The state supreme court suspended him for six months and a day.
Still, he never changed his story. He admitted he had a gun, but said he has a license to carry.
"I have it every day, all day," he said. "I always carry a gun because I'm an attorney and people don't like me."
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