Debra C. Weiss reports More than $2M in sanctions sought against Gibson Dunn and Facebook (abajournal.com)(Nov. 22, 2022):
Plaintiffs are seeking more than $2 million in sanctions against Facebook and its lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher after a federal judge said they engaged in “dilatory discovery conduct.”
In a September 15th hearing, the Judge “said Facebook and Gibson Dunn would ‘pounce’ on ‘any little ambiguity’ as ‘part of their effort to obstruct and delay and resist the production of obviously responsive materials.’” Id. The Judge “also said at the hearing the conduct of a Gibson Dunn lawyer and a Facebook witness was ‘abominable’ in two recorded depositions that he watched. The witness wouldn’t answer basic questions, and the BigLaw lawyer repeatedly advised her not to answer, he said.”
Ms. Weiss reports that “Facebook and Gibson Dunn, however, have argued that they didn’t do anything to warrant sanctions, and the plaintiffs were making ‘unreasonable and incessant’ demands for documents.”
I blogged about an earlier article on this case by Ms. Weiss: Pouncing on Little Ambiguities Leads to Discovery Sanctions. There, I wrote: “I don’t know any of the facts of that case and therefore don’t comment on it.” However, I pointed out that:
In connection with the Sedona Conference’s Cooperation Proclamation, Kenneth J. Withers, Esq., wrote of “a litigation culture of ‘fierce warriors’ gone haywire.” “When E-Mail Explodes,” San Diego Lawyer, Nov.-Dec. 2008 at 36-38. “Discovery practice, long thought to be the most contentious and unprofessional aspect of litigation practice, is plagued by the conventional ‘wisdom’ that during discovery a lawyer should stall, obfuscate, contest all discovery sought and produce only what cannot be withheld.” The Hon. P. Grimm, et al., New Paradigm for Discovery Practice: Cooperation, 43 Md. B. J. 26, 27 (2010). These “war of attrition” practices threatened to close the court house doors to litigants of moderate means. See id. at 28.
I don’t know if that is the case here. However, given the Judge’s comments as reported, the motion bears watching.