Court Denies Sanctions Motion; Reminds Parties to Properly Meet and Confer
In Whitesell Corporation v. Electrolux Home Products, Inc. et. al., Case No. 103-050 (S.D. Ga., Sept. 10, 2015), Plaintiff’s Interrogatory No. 58 sought identification of every person with knowledge of the Defendants’ document retention policies and who had knowledge of Defendants’ efforts to preserve and produce documents.
Defendant Electrolux identified three individuals, including Jason Edwards, describing him as someone with “general information” regarding efforts to preserve and produce documents for the litigation. At his deposition, Edwards expressed a lack of knowledge regarding the document retention policies of Defendant Electrolux. Plaintiff filed a Motion for Sanctions, arguing that the court should sanction Electrolux’s identification of Edwards in response to Interrogatory No. 58 because he had no “particularized information” regarding the efforts to preserve and produce documents. In response, Electrolux asserted that it had never identified Edwards as specifically knowledgeable about document retention policies, but that he did have knowledge regarding the document production (to which he testified to during his deposition).
Although the court found that Plaintiff had acted appropriately in deposing Edwards, it agreed with Defendant that Edwards’s deposition was largely fruitless and unnecessary. Accordingly, the court denied the motion, and cautioned the parties to bring their discovery issues to the court’s attention during the monthly discovery hearings the court scheduled to address any perceived “gaps” in discovery. The court also reminded the parties of the need to sufficiently meet and confer before engaging in motion practice, noting that the “duty-to-confer is not an empty formality.”