Court dismisses litigant's claims in response to uncivil behavior
David Aslani sued State Farm and its insureds, alleging injuries resulting from a motor vehicle collision. The Court became frustrated with the behavior of both plaintiffs and State Farm, declaring the case "a mess" and asserting control over the scheduling of discovery. When Aslani appeared for his court-ordered deposition, however, he refused to answer certain areas of questioning and engaged in an obnoxious colloquoy with the State Farm attorney; when his behavior was challenged before the trial judge (who, by now, had had enough), he argued that while he was ordered to appear for the deposition, he wasn't ordered to answer questions. The trial judge dismissed his injury claim and Aslani appealed.
The Court of Appeals upheld the dismissal, noting that Aslani's behavior was deliberate and willful. He had been warned of the consequences of further misbehavior and it was within the Court's discretion to enforce civil behavior and deter harassment. The Court also rejected Aslani's arguments regarding alleged bias on the part of the judge and his arguements alleged fraud and improper behavior by State Farm and its attorneys (these arguements were based on State Farm's refusal to answer Requests to Admit and its allegedly innocent mis-identification of its insured): the Court noted that Aslani had not developed these claims in the lower court prior to the dismissal of his lawsuit for his own misbehavior.