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Lawyer Sanctioned After Coffee-Flinging Incident

Words were exchanged. Tempers flared. And, in the end, a perfectly good cup of iced coffee was sacrificed in an act of senseless violence.

Had cooler heads prevailed on that warm Boston summer morning, life could have carried on as normal. The coffee, iced with a bit of sweat forming on the outside of the cup, would have been consumed and enjoyed the way the roasters had hoped while crafting the beverage. Little did it know, as it sat on the conference room table during a heated deposition, that its existence was about to change forever; transformed into a vessel of vengeance.

The barista barrister in this cacophony of chaos is caffeinated counselor Valeria Calafiore Healy. As her client was being deposed by opposing counsel, attorney Thomas Wallerstein, the dominoes began to fall. Questions were asked, testimony was given, and Healy raised her objections. According to records, Healy was objecting so much she was even objecting to her own witness’s testimony.

Wallerstein admonished Healy to “please be quiet.” Little did he know that he had just lit a fuse.

Healy warned Wallerstein not to tell her to be quiet but Wallerstein was relentless, again telling her to be quiet after another interruption. And this is where our embattled cup of Joe enters the story.

We don’t know if it was cold brew; steeped to perfection over the course of 24 hours, or just a regular iced coffee. We don’t know if it was sweetened – perhaps with a simple syrup or maybe some raw turbinado sugar – or lightened with cream. And, sadly, we will never know.

What we do know is what happened next both “shocked and scared” attorney Wallerstein, as he claims that attorney Healy launched her cup of iced coffee across the table; drenching him and his belongings in Arabica deliciousness.

As can be expected, Healy’s detailing of the final moments of the coffee’s existence are a bit different. Citing a history of being berated and insulted by attorney Wallerstein, attorney Healy claims that she merely failed to “maintain control of the cup. It bounced across the table after she slammed it down.”

A federal magistrate judge; no doubt wondering why she has to deal with this as a federal magistrate judge, has ordered Healy to pay Wallerstein the sum of $250 to cover damage to Wallerstein’s property caused by the javelined java. Further sanctions and actions against Healy have not been ruled out.