LBL is currently defending a big box store in an alleged bedbug infestation case. During the course of litigation, Plaintiff’s counsel cancelled three properly-noticed depositions of his client. Upon cancelling the third deposition, LBL Monterey shareholder Christine B. Reed and LBL Monterey associate Eric C. Fonferek brought a Motion to Compel Plaintiff’s appearance at deposition, seeking monetary sanctions. Plaintiff’s counsel agreed to produce Plaintiff shortly after being served with the Motion. The deposition was conducted as scheduled. However, LBL did not take the Motion off calendar, believing that despite the fact that Plaintiff’s counsel, belatedly, begrudgingly and under the threat of motion ultimately produced Plaintiff, its client was entitled to monetary sanctions because Plaintiff’s counsel’s refusal to produce his client was without substantial justification (CCP § 2025.450 (g)(1)). Defendant was forced to expend unnecessary time, fees and costs.
Plaintiff’s counsel vehemently disagreed in its opposition, calling LBL’s motion for sanctions frivolous and an egregious misuse of the discovery process. Plaintiff sought sanctions of its own against Defendant and LBL.
Ultimately, the Alameda County Superior Court decided that Plaintiff’s counsel acted without substantial justification in his refusal to produce Plaintiff for deposition, denied Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions and ordered monetary sanctions in favor of Defendant.