Ragland v. SogginAnnotate this Case
Two attorneys (together, “defense counsel”) were sanctioned $200 each during the course of their representation of Client, who was the defendant in a wrongful death suit. The jury returned a verdict in favor of the defendant. The plaintiff filed a motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict, asserting that defense counsels’ “misconduct” in submitting a jury instruction with an error tainted the jury. The trial judge denied the motion, concluding that counsel’s representation was not a deliberate act to mislead the court. The court, however, concluded that counsels’ inadvertence rose to the level of a sanctionable act. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the trial court erred in sanctioning defense counsel for a mutual mistake when the error was inadvertent and, upon its discovery, was timely noted.