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Judge Catches Lawyer Lying Through Instagram Post

By William Vogeler, Esq. on May 03, 2018 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

A New York attorney working a New Jersey case missed a filing deadline, but that was not her biggest problem.

According to court records, she lied about it to a judge. She claimed to be in Mexico for a family emergency, when actually she was on vacation.

It came out because the lawyer posted Instagram pictures of herself in New York and Miami at the time. The judge sanctioned her $10,000, but every lawyer should take notes: Don't lie to judges and don't put everything on social media.

Deadline Fail

According to the court record, attorney Lina Franco was working with plaintiff's counsel on a labor case filed in New Jersey. She was supposed to file a motion by Nov. 23, 2016, but missed the deadline.

Sixteen days later, she filed a request to extend the deadline. She said:

"On November 21, 2016, I was forced to leave the Country due to a family emergency in Mexico City. I have attached a copy of my itnerary as Exhibit (A)."

It was a lie, and the iternary didn't help. The dates were messed up.

Instagram Fail

Opposing counsel jumped all over it. They saw the Instagram pics and attached screenshots for the judge.

They wanted $44,283 in attorneys fees as sanctions, but the judge said that was overkill. He cut it down to $10,000 to be divided between the three defense attorneys.

Franco ultimately admitted her error, and said she will not appeal the sanctions order. She probably shouldn't say anything about it on social media, either.

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