Wansong v. Wansong, 395 Mass. 154 (1985) During a divorce action, where both parties filed complaints for divorce, the husband of Atwood & Cherny's client refused to answer questions at his deposition regarding his relationship and financial arrangements with a woman and instead, invoked his privilege not to incriminate himself under the Fifth Amendment of the United States Constitution and Article 12 of the Declaration of Rights of the Constitution of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. The lower court ordered the husband to respond to questions but the husband asserted that he would continue to not answer the questions if asked at his deposition. Thereafter, the trial court imposed discovery sanctions against the husband. On appeal, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court affirmed the lower court's sanctions, which prohibited the husband, personally, from introducing evidence relating to an award of support, division of marital assets or custody of the parties' minor child; dismissed the husband's complaint for divorce; struck the husband's financial statement; and, prohibited him from testifying regarding his financial circumstances and the conduct of the parties during the marriage. Atwood & Cherny also succesfully defended the husband's petition to the United States Supreme Court.
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