« Courts - 8-Year-Old Passes Brazil's Law School Entrance Test | Main | Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 6 today (and 17 NFP) »

Friday, March 07, 2008

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Banco del Atlantico v. Woods Industries (SD Ind., Judge McKinney), a 9-page opinion, Judge Evans concludes:

For these reasons, we see no basis on which to find that the district judge abused his discretion in dismissing the case as a sanction for the violation of clear and reasonable orders. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court is AFFIRMED.
Some quotes from the opinion:
Understandably unsatisfied with the deposition, defendants moved to compel further testimony. In an April 28, 2006, order, Magistrate Judge V. Sue Shields called the deposition a “fiasco.”
So, later, did Judge McKinney. Judge Evans writes:
The question before us on the plaintiffs’ appeal is whether Judge McKinney abused his discretion in putting an end to this case. Ladien v. Astrachan, 128 F.3d 1051 (7th Cir. 1997). We have cautioned that a sanction of dismissal is a last resort which can only be employed in rare cases. See Schilling v. Walworth County Park & Planning Comm., 805 F.2d 272 (7th Cir. 1986). It is a “draconian” remedy, Marrocco v. General Motors Corp., 966 F.2d 220, 223 (7th Cir. 1992), which should be applied only in extreme situations, when there is a clear record of delay or contumacious conduct, or when other less drastic sanctions have proven unavailing. Webber v. Eye Corp., 721 F.2d 1067 (7th Cir. 1983). That doesn’t mean, however, that it can never be used. Even Draco got it right every once in awhile, and today, when district courts have several hundred cases on their dockets, there are times when the “draconian” remedy is appropos. And that time was reached in this case.

On appeal, the plaintiffs argue, among other things, that “there was no finding or record of delay, contumacious conduct, willfulness, bad faith or fault . . . .” The argument is—if nothing else—audacious. There is, in fact, little else in the record.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on March 7, 2008 11:30 AM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions