Adams v. Ford Mtr. Co.

After an injury trial, plaintiff's attorney called jurors to ask about the award of damages and assignment of fault between the parties, apparently believing that there had been a clerical error on the verdict form. After a juror informed the magistrate judge, the judge concluded that the attorney had violated ABA Model Rule of Professional Conduct Rule 3.5 by initiating post-verdict contact with a juror. The Third Circuit vacated, first holding that the attorney had standing to appeal. The judge abused his discretion and denied the attorney's due process rights by not following the disciplinary procedures outlined in Local Rule 83.2(b) of the District Court of the Virgin Islands and by failing to give sufficient notice and an opportunity to be heard prior to finding misconduct and imposing sanctions.