Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

Case Summary: Powers; Counsel’s impatience with adversary grounds for denial of motion for sanctions

Posted by rjbiii on September 11, 2007

In a case in which a law school was accused of failing to grant a student with visual disabilities reasonable accommodations in compliance with a state act, plaintiff’s counsel’s request, during oral arguments concerning defendant law school’s compliance with a production order issued by the court, that his expert be allowed to examine the school’s work order tracking system was denied by the court. Plaintiff’s counsel had not requested access to the system in his brief. Plaintiff’s counsel had also failed to abide by local and federal rules by making his motion before making a reasonable attempt to confer with defendant. Counsel had sent defense counsel a fax requesting information on September 18, 2006. At 2:34 p.m. on the same day, Plaintiff’s counsel called defense counsel’s office and was told that defense counsel was not in the office. Plaintiff left a voice-mail, and then filed a motion with the court at 4:23 p.m.

The court found that by allowing defense counsel “less than one business day,” that defense counsel had been given an “unreasonable time” in which to respond. Furthermore, Plaintiff’s counsel had “displayed impatience” and had not displayed “a good-faith effort to resolve [this particular] discovery dispute.” This failure, in and of itself, was grounds for denial of the motion and imposition of sanctions. Powers v. Thomas M. Cooley Law School, 2006 WL 2711512 (W.D. Mich. 2006).

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