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| 1 minute read

Discovery Defaults Lead to Sanctions

In Boshears v. Polaris Eng’g, Inc., No. 3:22-cv-00053 (S.D. Tex. Mar. 20, 2023), District Judge Andrew M. Edison awarded $5,082.75 in sanctions against Plaintiff’s counsel in an employment discrimination lawsuit due to his “flagrant abuse of the discovery process.”

Counsel for Plaintiff admitted he failed to comply with various court orders by not timely participating in the discovery process. He blamed his defaults on a busy trial schedule and technical issues. Specifically, counsel failed to: (i) fully answer and provide responsive documents to discovery requests; (ii) execute employment and medical records authorizations; (iii) supplement and verify his interrogatories; and (iv) produce responsive documents in a timely manner. Counsel also failed to respond to opposing counsel’s request to discuss deficiencies in the document production.

After spending “a considerable amount of time working through discovery issues in this case,” the judge granted Defendant’s Motion for Contempt and for Sanctions pursuant to Rule 37 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, finding none of counsel’s excuses satisfactory. The Court noted it was “only the third time in [his] five years on the bench” that he granted such a motion.

This case highlights the importance of evaluating, prior to taking on a case, an attorney’s availability of time and technical skills to ensure proper and prompt participation in the discovery process.

It is incumbent on a trial lawyer to make sure that he has his house in order and can devote the attention needed to a case.


ediscovery, contempt, sanctions, e-discovery