By Bill Wright
A federal trial court in Florida just set a fine example of balancing discovery costs in litigation. The case pits an EEOC litigation team against an employer’s top notch counsel. Without sanctioning either party or the attorneys, the court imposed a $500 cost on the employer’s lawyer for his “unsuccessful” objections to the EEOC’s requests for admission and shifted about $2,000 in expert fees to the defendant for late disclosures, but the court also shifted $19,480 in costs to the EEOC because the EEOC insisted on expensive e-discovery of text messages. The employer had predicted the e-discovery would be “a waste of time, money and energy,” and it was. The e-discovery produced no evidence relevant to the case; so the EEOC – or the taxpayer – will pay for the e-discovery.
It’s good to see costs assigned where they belong, but do taxpayer-funded attorneys have to be overly aggressive in discovery? The Order was entered in US EEOC v. GMRI, Inc. et al., No. 15-20561-CIV-Leonard/Goodman (S.D. Fla. March 6, 2017).