Fifth Amendment + Civil Litigation = Dismissal

In a topic also addressed on 600Camp today, the interplay of criminal proceedings and civil litigation can be challenging. The conclusion of Dunne v. Brinker Texas, Inc. summarizes one potential result: “Under the particular facts of this case, the only possible remedial measure that could have protected Dunne’s Fifth Amendment privilege was an abatement. But an abatement could not cure the prejudice Chili’s had already suffered from being unable to identify fact witnesses for the more than a year that had passed since it first requested that information. In addition, there was no indication how long the case might sit in limbo, when trial might be, and whether Dunne would continue to assert his Fifth Amendment rights in the event of an appeal. We conclude the trial court did not abuse its discretion in striking Dunne’s pleadings and therefore affirm.” No. 05-16-00496-CV (Aug. 10, 2017).

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