Transcript Slide 1

Agenda for 8th Class • Admin – Handouts – Name plates – No class next Friday, 9/26 • Experts (continued) • Sanctions –


• Introduction to Summary Judgment


Next Class

• FRCP 56 • Yeazell pp. 581-96 •

A Civil Action

through p. 263 • Questions to think about / writing assignment – Questions on A Civil Action on next slide – Yeazell pp. 581ff Qs 1, 2c – Briefly summarize Celotex Be sure to discuss what evidence each side submitted to the court?

Why was plaintiff’s evidence not clearly sufficient to defeat defendant’s summary judgment motion? Why was defendant’s evidence possibly sufficient for its summary judgment to be granted?

– Yeazell pp. 588ff Qs 1c, 5 – Briefly summarize


. Be sure to discuss what evidence each side submitted to the court? Why did the court grant summary judgment to the defendant?

– Yeazell p. 596 Q4 – Summary Judgment questions on Slide 4 • Optional Glannon Ch 23 2

Discovery in

A Civil Action

– Explain how Schlichtmann got information to build his case. What discovery devices did he use? What methods other than discovery did Schlichtman use to get information?

– Explain what happened on pp. 162-65. Why did Cheeseman and Frederico object when Schlichtmann asked Love whether he was concerned when he found out that the wells were contaminated? Why didn’t they instruct Love not to answer? Why did Schlictmann ask these questions?

– Explain what happened at “the woodshed”? What rules had Schlichtmann violated which led to the woodshed? Why does Shlichtmann say he’s “sorry Judge Skinner wasn’t a party to the agreement“? (pp. 222 & 226) What sanction(s) did the judge impose? Why was the woodshed so important?

– If you were Schlichtman, how would you have handled the settlement negotiation with Facher differently? (pp. 228-31). Why do you think Schlichtman acted as he did?


Summary Judgment Questions

• In


, what could the plaintiff’s lawyer have done during discovery to have had a better chance of defeating defendant’s motion for summary judgment?

• In


, what, if anything, could plaintiff’s lawyer do after the Supreme Court issued its opinion in order to win the case for plaintiff? • In


, is it possible that the plaintiff would have prevailed at trial? How? If your answer is “yes,” why wasn’t he able to defeat the summary judgment motion? • If you were the plaintiff’s lawyer in


, what could you have done which might have helped you defeat summary judgment?


Work Product

• Work Product 26(b)(3) – No discovery of “documents and tangible things prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial … [unless] substantial need” • Policies – Not to discourage writing – To encourage each side to expend effort gathering evidence – Adversary system – Somewhat in tension with policies behind discovery • Rule is narrower than policies behind doctrine – Restricted to “documents and tangible things.” • Doctrine was created before rule 5

3 Kinds of Experts

• Expert who will testify at trial – Heightened discovery – FRCP 26(a)(2)(A). Disclosure of name of testifying expert – FRCP 26(a)(2)(B). Testifying expert must prepare report and report must be disclosed – FRCP 26(b)(4)(A). Opposing party may depose testifying expert • Non-testifying expert, hired in anticipation of litigation or to prepare for trial – Treated like other work product – FRCP 26(b)(4)(D). Non-testifying expert, hired in anticipation of litigation or to prepare for trial, is shielded from discovery • Unless “exceptional circumstances” 26(b)(4)(D)(ii) • Experts not hired in anticipation of trial – Subject to discovery like ordinary witnesses – E.g. engineer who designed product which may be defective; doctor who examined patient for treatment (not for litigation purposes) – Disclosure of facts and opinions, 26(a)(2)(D) • But not as extensive disclosure as required of testifying experts 6

Expert Questions

• Briefly summarize Thompson and Chiquita – Incorporate into your summaries of Thompson and Chiquita answers to p. 502 question 1 • 499ff Qs 1-4; 502ff Qs 2-3 – Note that 503 Q3 should refer to 26(b)(4)(B), not 26(a)(2)(B).

• Suppose plaintiff has lung cancer which he thinks might have been caused by exposure to asbestos. Plaintiff’s lawyer has a doctor extract 10 lung samples, which she then sends to 10 pathologists. 9 say the lung cancer was caused by smoking, but the 10 th says it was caused by asbestos. The lawyer discloses the 10 th pathologist as one who will testify at trial, but says nothing about the other 9 to the defendant. Can defendant’s lawyer find out that plaintiff consulted 10 pathologists? Can she find out their identities? Can she depose the other 9? Why is this important?


Discovery Sanctions I

• Rule 11 does not apply to discovery. See 11(d) • FRCP 26(g). Very similar to Rule 11, except applies to written aspects of discovery – Discovery requests, responses, or objections must be signed by lawyer – Disclosure is complete – Requests, responses, or objections are warranted by law or non-frivolous argument to change the law, not for improper purpose, not unreasonable or unduly burdensome – Sanctions are mandatory. May include fees to opposing counsel • FRCP 30(c)-(d). Depositions – In general there are two sets of lawyers in a deposition • Lawyer taking the deposition • Lawyer defending the deposition – Lawyers can object in deposition, but can only instruct deponent not to answer “when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a motion to the court.” 30(c)(2) 8

Discovery Sanctions II

• Depositions (continued) – 30(d)(2). Sanctions on person who “impedes, delays, or frustrates” deposition – 30(d)(3). May terminate or suspend deposition to make motion to judge to limit deposition • FRCP 37(a) motion to compel – If opposing party refuses requested discovery – If granted, court must award attorneys fees • FRCP 37(b). Discretionary sanctions for failure to obey court order – Can be severe, including dismissal, default judgment, or contempt (imprisonment) 9

Discovery Sanctions III

• Lots of other sanctions provisions – 37(c) Sanction for failure to disclose, supplement, or admit • Does not apply to depositions – 37(d) failure to respond to discovery requests • Failure to attend deposition • Failure to respond

at all

to interrogatories • Failure to respond


all to request for documents or tangible things • 26(g) wouldn’t apply because no paper to sign 10

Questions on Sanctions • Yeazell p. 510 Qs 1-5

• 1) In Phillips v Manufacturers Hanover Trust, what rule, if any, did defendant’s counsel violate? Be sure to consider FRCP 11, 26(g), 30(c),30(d), 37(a)(4), 37(b) and 37(d) and explain why each rule was or was not violated. Note that the Rules have been amended several times since 1994, so the reasoning in the opinion may no longer be valid.

• 2) For each rule that you think the defendant’s lawyer violated, what is the sanction? Are sanctions mandatory or discretionary?

• 3) Did the magistrate judge make the right decision in Phillips v Manufacturers Hanover Trust? If you were a law clerk to Judge Francis what would you have advised him to do?

• 4) What, if anything, should the plaintiff’s lawyer in Phillips v Manufacturers Hanover Trust have done differently? • 5) If the plaintiff’s lawyer asked the district court judge to review the magistrate judge’s decision, is the district court judge likely to affirm the magistrate judge’s decision 11

Summary Judgment I

• Sometimes facts revealed in discovery are so clear that trial is pointless – Judge renders judgment without trial – Very serious because • Deprives losing party of jury trial • Deprives losing party of ability to fully present case • Mechanics – Party that wants summary judgment makes motion • Memorandum in support of motion includes evidence – documents, excerpts from depositions, affiidavits/declarations… – Affidavit or declaration is statement by friendly witness • Memorandum argues that materials show no real factual issue • Memorandum argues that law on movant’s side – Party opposing summary judgment submits memorandum • Points to evidence showing that there is a factual issue that requires full trial • Argues that law on non-movant’s side 12

Summary Judgment II

• Legal Standard – “no genuine dispute as to any material fact and movant entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” – “movant” = person making SJ motion (usually defendant) – Undisputed facts show that moving party prevails – No reasonable juror could find for non-moving party • Non-moving party is party opposing motion (usually plaintiff) • Judge is not supposed to determine credibility – No live witnesses, but affidavits and deposition transcripts – Especially of non-moving party’s witnesses – In theory, non-moving party could prevail by showing the moving party’s witnesses are not credible (just as could at trial) • But that is rare. Hard to challenge credibility at SJ. Judges usually believe moving party’s witnesses, unless non-moving party can produce witnesses to contradict them • Summary judgment forces parties to do thorough discovery – Must depose witnesses etc., so have information to oppose SJ 13