Counsel Ordered to Pay Attorney Fees After Failing to Meet and Confer
In Saliga v. Chemtura Corp., Case No. 3:12cv832 (VAB) (D. Conn. Feb. 26, 2015), the Connecticut district court considered whether plaintiff had satisfied its obligations to first meet and confer in good faith before approaching the court.
Plaintiff and Defendant had engaged in what the court described as unnecessarily protracted, contentious, and costly discovery. The parties had filed twenty motions for extensions of time and the court had extended the case management deadlines five times. Shortly before the end of fact discovery, Defendant produced over 40,000 emails and attachments in native file format and provided Plaintiff with a privilege log.
In response to Defendant’s production, Plaintiff sent what the court described as a “terse email” voicing concerns about the privilege log. Defendant responded by inviting a meet and confer discussion. The following day, Plaintiff sent a list contesting 36 specific privilege log entries, informing Defendant that if he did not respond by noon the next day, Plaintiff would file a motion to compel.
Defendant responded and addressed the issues and offered to meet and confer. The next day, Defendant followed up and again asked to meet and confer. Plaintiff did not respond and instead moved to compel.
Describing Plaintiff’s meet and confer efforts as “perfunctory” and stating that Plaintiff made “no genuine, good faith effort to narrow and/or resolve the dispute before seeking judicial intervention,” the court held that Plaintiff’s actions did not constitute a good faith effort to meet and confer under FRCP 37(a). The court denied Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel and ordered Plaintiff’s counsel to pay Defendant’s reasonable attorney fees.