Cut the Crap: Cooperate Under Rule 26 or Look Like a Fool

In this article appearing in JD Supra Business Advisor, Jason Bonk of Cozen O’Connor highlights a recent decision in in Armstrong Pump, Inc. v. Hartman, 2014 WL 6908867, No. 10-cv-446S (W.D.N.Y. Dec. 9, 2014) suggesting that it serves as a valuable lesson to litigants, specifically that “failure to cooperate under Rule 26 is no longer just unacceptable…it’s embarrassing.” In the decision, the Court vented its frustration with the unending discovery disputes and growing animosity between the parties which required repetitive interventions by the Court. The author notes that the Court indicated that citations within the movant’s brief amounted to a “disingenuous hint” that opposing counsel should be suspended “without actually saying so.” According to the author, it’s as if the parties “turned the notion of cooperation under Rule 26 on its head and in doing so pushed the court’s patience too far.” While the Court vented its frustration with the word “Enough,” Mr. Bonk’s reaction is “FINALLY.” The author advises all litigators, particularly those involved in eDiscovery to read the decision, and exercise patience during discovery disputes as “(l)itigators don’t serve a client’s best interests by becoming embroiled in nonsensical and childish discovery disputes.”

Read the full article here.

Read a summary of the December 14, 2014 decision in Armstrong v. Pump here.

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