Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

Eighth Circuit Remands Case and Reassigns Judge who Imposed Sanctions

Posted by rjbiii on July 8, 2009

“That’s it. I’m done. I’m granting the defendant’s motion to dismiss this case for systematic abuse of the discovery process. [Defense counsel], I direct you to prepare a proposed order with everything you’ve put on that presentation. I’ll refine it and slick it up. [Plaintiff] has abused this court, has misled you, has lied in his deposition. It’s obvious he’s lying about that e-mail. This case is gone. I’m dismissing it. What a disgrace to the legal system in the Western District of Missouri. Prepare the proposed order. We’re done. We are done, done, done. What a disgrace. It’s not your fault, it’s your client. He’s coached, he’s ducked, and he’s hid documents. We’re done. Be in recess.”

An outburst from the bench from a Judge reaching the end of his patience has led the Circuit Court to remand the case, reassign the judge presiding over the matter, and vacate the dismissal that that judge had imposed. The Circuit Court did, however, express some empathy for their exasperated colleague while doing so:

The Eighth Circuit vacated the order of dismissal, but not without expressing sympathy for the judge’s position, noting that the parties “provoked” him. The majority was critical of both the plaintiffs’ “evasive” behavior and the defendants’ “fanning the flames of the district court’s discontent.”

The Circuit Court’s opinion may be found here (pdf).

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