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Odds and ends 5/23/04
NEW YORK -- David Fink might think he got a ruff sentence.
The lawyer who barked like a dog at a witness during a deposition has been fined $8,500 for misconduct and harassment of opponents, according to a judge's 54-page decision published Thursday.
Manhattan state Supreme Court Justice Charles Ramos said Fink made false statements, failed to comply with court orders and engaged in frivolous conduct during a breach of contract suit over home furnishing designs.
Fink's client Carl Levine represents designers of home furnishings to manufacturers and other licensees. He sued a married couple, Laurette Angsten and Kit Kittle, alleging they did not pay him money they owed for marketing their products.
During a deposition in which Kittle was giving sworn statements on Jan. 16, 2002, he described letters he received from Fink as threatening, "mad dog lawyer" letters, said Kittle's lawyer, Samuel Friedman.
At the continuation of the deposition the next day, Friedman said, Fink started barking like a dog when Kittle was asked about the letters by Donald Creadore, the lawyer who had taken over Levine's case from Fink.
Friedman complained to Ramos about Fink's behavior.
A special referee reviewed Fink's behavior, and Ramos followed the recommendations.
Fink had already been assessed $1,400 for previous misconduct in the case.