Advance Financial Corp. v. Utsey, No. Civ. A.

00-0261-RV-S 2001 WL 102484 (Jan. 24, 2001)


On June 13, 2000, the Court entered a Preliminary Scheduling Order ordering the parties to meet and file a report pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) not later than July 28, 2000. That deadline was extended until August 18, 2000, to accommodate the schedule of counsel for the Defendants. The deadline passed without the filing of the Rule 26(f) report and, on August 25, 2000, this Court entered a show cause order ordering the parties to file by September 5, 2000, the Rule 26(f) report or show cause by that date why they were unable to do so. On August 30, 2000, a report of the parties' planning meeting was filed by P's counsel unsigned by Ds' counsel. The parties had meet by telephone and P prepared reports and submitted it to D for additions, but no response was forthcoming. P then filed the report unilaterally without the signature of D. Despite an order directing the parties to produce their Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1) initial disclosures on or before September 29, 2000, D failed to produce their initial disclosures. An order to show cause was issued and Ds filed a motion for extension. The motion was granted, and Ds were ordered by November 17, 2000, to produce the Rule 26(a)(1) disclosures. They were not forthcoming, and P filed its Second Motion for Sanctions. As a result of Ds' failure to produce this information, P was forced to cancel the depositions. Ds failed to respond to another order to show cause. P's then filed a Third Motion for Sanctions. Oral argument was set for December 15, 2000. Because of recent eye surgery, Ds' counsel was unable to attend the hearing in person but participated by telephone conference. The only offered explanation for the foregoing failures was that counsel had experienced some physical problems which resulted in eye surgery during the week preceding the hearing, and that counsel was experiencing communication problems with his clients.