Presentation on theme: "Metropolitan Opera Association, Inc. v. Local 100, Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union 212 F.R.D. 178 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)"— Presentation transcript:
Metropolitan Opera Association, Inc. v. Local 100, Hotel Employees & Restaurant Employees International Union 212 F.R.D. 178 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)
Parties Plaintiff: Metropolitan Opera Association the Met Brought original claim against the Union for improperly involving them in a labor dispute they had with RA. Restaurant Associate Corp. RA The Mets food services provider. Defendant: Local 100 the Union Bitterman: Research Director William Granfield: Secreatry/Treasurer Counsel: Herrick Feinstein, LLP
Facts Joseph Lynett, counsel for the Union First Document RequestMay 2, 2002 Yes, your Honor, we have produced all documents responsive to that request. No internal documents. No letters of communication after May 1 st. Did not instruct all Union employees to retain documents. Did not inform employees of what documents were responsive. Did not follow up to ensure all responsive documents were produced. Made false representations to the court.
Facts Michael Anderson, counsel for the Union Duplicate Document RequestAugust 2000 Documents after May 2000 not produced. Documents were testified to in depositions, but not produced. Andersons ProductionFebruary 22, 2001 Stated it contained all non-privileged documents generated since May 2000. This was not true. Second Document RequestMay 25, 2001 Notes relating to the Met. No follow up to ensure compliance. No new documents produced. Meeting July 17, 2001 ConferenceJuly 18, 2001
Facts James Moss & Marianne Yen, counsel for the Union Third Document RequestOctober 2, 2001 there are no responsive documents personally questioned each employee Fourth Document RequestOctober 23, 2001 Never responded to.
Analysis Rule 26(g): counsel must make a reasonable inquiry into the basis of their discovery responses. Cousels conduct was not merely negligent but agressively willfull. Rule 37: sanctions are appropriate here Bad faith, non-compliance, utter failure, prejudice to the opposing party. 28 U.S.C. §1927 Conclusion that obstruction and delay was undertaken for some improper purpose. Courts Inherent Power
Issues Regarding eDiscovery Lack of adequate document search. No document retention policy. No explanation of what was to be produced. Failure to follow up with employees. Replacement of computers
Conclusion Plaintiffs motion for judgment as to liability against defendants was granted against the Union and their counsel. Additional sanctions for attorneys fees were necessitated by the discovery abuse. Court noted there was no indication that lesser sanctions would bring about compliance. The Unions destruction of documents made a lesser sanction impossible.
Questions The system prefers to resolve controversies on the merits. Do you believe this was the appropriate sanction in this case, or was another sanction or set of sanctions appropriate? Judge Preskas opinion noted the hurly-burly of the discovery process and Rambo litigation tactics. The Union also accused the Met of deficient discovery compliance. When does hurly-burly discovery become bad faith discovery?