Arnold & Porter is ordered to pay greater than $150K in sanctions for discovery ‘poor judgment’
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Up to date: A New York choose has ordered Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer to pay greater than $150,000 for failing to inform the state of New York of related late-discovered paperwork in opioid litigation and for different “discovery breaches.”
Choose Jerry Garguilo of Suffolk County, New York, stated Arnold & Porter had proven “neglect and poor judgment” when it submitted related late-found paperwork right into a federal multidistrict litigation database with out notifying the plaintiffs in a New York state opioid trial.
Law360 has the story on the Dec. 6 determination.
Arnold & Porter or its consumer, Endo Prescribed drugs Inc., had discovered the paperwork—name notes by Endo Prescribed drugs gross sales representatives—in Might 2021 in a file the place they weren’t anticipated to be, Garguilo stated. He famous Arnold & Porter’s argument that it complied with a case administration order that stated paperwork produced within the nationwide litigation ought to be handled as if produced within the New York litigation.
Arnold & Porter’s argument was technically appropriate, Garguilo stated, “however because the closing date for disclosure was lengthy late, merely complying with [the case management order] was not ample.”
“This whole episode would have been prevented,” Garguilo stated, if Arnold & Porter or Endo Prescribed drugs “didn’t commit three errors and train poor judgment” after discovering the decision notes.
Garguilo recognized the errors as giving the doc to a lawyer coping with discovery points in a Tennessee case, ready till simply earlier than trial within the New York case to place the notes within the “nationwide MDL discovery bin,” and failing to inform New York in regards to the discover.
Garguilo ordered Arnold & Porter to pay New York $125,000 for the time that it spent culling by way of the late-disclosed name notes and the preparation of its petition for charges and sanctions. He additionally ordered the legislation agency to pay $30,000 for different discovery points.
Garguilo stated he wouldn’t maintain Arnold & Porter in contempt as a result of it didn’t preserve the info secret.
“If it was hiding or hidden, it was hidden in plain sight,” Garguilo stated.
Garguilo famous that the state had in some cases sought an hourly charge price of $1,800, which he deemed to be “patently unrealistic.” He additionally refused to require Arnold & Porter to pay a sanction to 2 different plaintiffs within the opioid litigation—Nassau County and Suffolk County—as a result of they didn’t submit info on prevailing attorney-fee charges, the credentials of legal professionals in search of reimbursement, and the hours dedicated to the sanctions movement.
“The quantity of any award for affordable legal professional’s charges can’t be plucked out of a hat or from skinny air,” Garguilo wrote.
Arnold & Porter referred the ABA Journal’s request for remark to its legal professionals at Steptoe & Johnson, Roger Warin and John O’Connor.
The legal professionals launched an announcement that stated Garguilo “rejected the hyperbolic accusations” within the sanctions motions filed by New York and the 2 counties.
“As Justice Garguilo’s determination notes, Arnold & Porter was forthright in acknowledging a number of discrete errors in reference to discovery happening in an exceedingly difficult litigation surroundings,” the assertion stated. “However Justice Garguilo didn’t settle for the state’s and counties’ unsupported and reckless premise that Arnold & Porter or its shoppers engaged in intentional discovery misconduct.”
In reality, the assertion stated, Garguilo praised Arnold & Porter personnel for serving to New York entry varied discovery supplies. The assertion additionally stated the choose awarded lower than 4% of what the state and the counties sought.
“Whereas we don’t agree with each assertion within the court docket’s determination, we admire Justice Garguilo’s appreciable efforts in digging into the voluminous movement papers, in order that he may see by way of the state’s and counties’ false narrative concerning discovery on this case,” the assertion stated.
ABAJournal.com: “Arnold & Porter ‘slipped’ discovery paperwork into database with out discover, referee says”
Up to date Dec. 8 at 2:55 p.m. so as to add info from Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer’s assertion.