Court Stresses Importance of Rule 26 and Encourages Cooperation Among Parties in Discovery
Mancia v. Mayflower Textile Servs. Co., 2008 WL 4595175 (D.Md. Oct. 15, 2008). In this collective employment action, the plaintiffs raised issues regarding numerous discovery and supplemental interrogatory requests. The defendants objected to these requests with, "boilerplate, non-particularized objections." Frustrated with the party's inability to approach discovery responsibly, Chief Magistrate Judge Paul W. Grimm scheduled an in-court hearing to discuss the discovery violations and issued this opinion to explain concerns and instruct counsel on how to reach resolution. Judge Grimm stated that the failure to abide by Rule 26(g), requiring particularized facts for a discovery objection, was one reason for the excessive costs of discovery. He also stated that, "discovery must be initiated and responded to responsibly, in accordance with the letter and spirit of the discovery rules, to achieve a proper purpose, and be proportional to what is at issue in the litigation, and if it is not, the judge is expected to impose appropriate sanctions to punish and deter." Due to the lack of record establishing an estimated amount in controversy, the court ordered the parties to meet and confer in good faith to: estimate a likely range of provable damages to quantify a "discovery budget" that is proportional to what is at stake in the case, discuss the additional discovery sought by the plaintiffs and attempt to reach an agreement, and provide the court with a status report indentifying any unresolved issues.