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Lincoln Memorial Academy et al. v. State of Florida, et al.

Lincoln Memorial Academy et al. v. State of Florida, et al.

Case Date: 02/19/2021
Citation: 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 237332 (M.D. Fla)
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Middle District of Florida (M.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal Magistrate Judge: Amanda Arnold Sansone
Rule(s): Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 and 37
The issue raised on appeal was whether the School Board’s Motion to Compel and Motion for Sanctions were legally sufficient and made in good faith.
The background facts are as follows:
On August 28, 2020, after multiple extensions and attempts to obtain complete discovery responses from the plaintiffs, the School Board moved to compel production of the outstanding discovery responses. On September 8, 2020, the court directed the plaintiffs to produce all remaining discovery responses and documents by September 23, 2020.
After a videoconference, the court ordered the plaintiffs to address their discovery deficiencies by October 23, 2020. After Attorney Ford failed to comply with the court’s discovery order, Attorney Jackson sent Attorney Ford a letter noting the plaintiffs mostly had not complied with the court’s order and detailing the discovery deficiencies for each plaintiff.
On October 29, 2020, the School Board moved for sanctions against the plaintiffs and Attorney Ford. After the second discovery conference, Attorney Ford assured the School Board he would provide amended responses for each plaintiff and correct the discovery deficiencies. Attorney Ford failed to do so. After an evidentiary hearing, the court granted the School Board’s motion for sanctions and awarded the School Board its reasonable attorney’s fees and costs against Attorney Ford for the unnecessary time and expenses it incurred because of the discovery violations.

The School Board’s motion to compel and motion for sanctions were legally sufficient and not made in bad faith. The court granted the motions due to their merit. The School Board’s motion to compel and motion for sanctions after numerous attempts to obtain the plaintiffs’ outstanding discovery responses and documents. Contrary to the plaintiffs’ assertions, the court found that the School Board was generous in providing Plaintiffs with extensions and repeatedly detailed the outstanding discovery for the plaintiffs’ benefit. Sanctions were awarded against Attorney Ford for his continued failure to properly participate in discovery and comply with court orders. Sanctions were not awarded against the individual defendants because the defendants did not intentionally withhold documents or obstruct discovery.

Relevant Documents:

Motion for Sanctions

Order Granting Motion for Sanctions

Plaintiffs’ Response to Defendant’s Motion for Sanctions

E-Discovery Issues: Discovery Order, Motion for Sanctions, Motion to Compel
E-discovery Tags: Sanctions
E-discovery subjects: Electronically stored information

Published: July 8th, 2021

Category: Uncategorized

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