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Wednesday, July 20, 2016

Ind. Decisions - "Duffy is now deceased and so beyond our jurisdiction"

That is from Chief Judge Wood's July 19th opinion in LIGHTSPEED MEDIA CORP. v. ANTHONY SMITH, et al., out of the SD Ill., that begins:

When last we considered John Steele and Paul Hansmeier’s challenges to contempt sanctions imposed on them, we gave them some friendly advice: stop digging. See Lightspeed Media Corp. v. Smith, 761 F.3d 699 (7th Cir. 2 Nos. 15‐2440 & 15‐2682 2014) (Lightspeed I). Apparently they did not realize that we meant what we said. Hoping to avoid paying additional sanctions, they dissembled to the district court and engaged in discovery shenanigans. Anthony Smith, a defendant in the underlying litigation, found out what was going on and moved for yet more contempt and discovery sanctions against Steele, Hansmeier, and Paul Duffy. (We occasionally refer to them collectively as the Attorneys.) Although the district court initially denied his request, it granted Smith the requested sanctions on a motion for reconsideration. Duffy is now deceased and so beyond our jurisdiction. Hansmeier and Steele have appealed, arguing that the district court erred in (1) revisiting its initial ruling on Smith’s motion; (2) finding the Attorneys in contempt; and (3) sanctioning the attorneys for discovery misconduct. With regard to Steele, we affirm the district court’s discovery sanction and vacate its contempt sanction. We dismiss Hansmeier’s appeal.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on July 20, 2016 01:45 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions