North Carolina Business Litigation Report

International Legwear Group, Inc. v. Legassi Int'l Group (Diaz)(unpublished)

The Court entered a series of discovery rulings in this case.

In a July 2007 ruling, the Court struck a Motion to Compel because the moving party had not included a certificate of compliance with Business Court Rule 18.6(a).  The Court found an attachment including the correspondence between the parties over discovery matters to be insufficient: "[t]he purpose of the certificate is to have the moving party succinctly set out what was done to resolve the dispute short of judicial intervention—the Court has no interest in, nor should it be burdened with, sifting through 23 pages of correspondence to determine whether the parties have complied with its rules."

In an October 2007 opinion, the Court expressed its frustration with the discovery conduct of the lawyers for the parties: "[r]ather than focusing on the merits of the claims, counsel have opted for personal combat, engaging in chest-thumping and mud-slinging the likes of which would make a professional wrestler blush."  The Court admonished that "counsel are not awarded points for gamesmanship in discovery; rather, the proper focus should be on the orderly disclosure of relevant facts."  The Court stayed all further discovery pending its consideration of a raft of Motions to Compel filed by the parties, and reminded the parties of the possibility of sanctions for their conduct.

In a January 2008 opinion,the Court found that Defendant's counsel had "abused the discovery process" by surreptitiously copying privileged documents from electronically stored information (ESI) produced by the Plaintiff.  The Court ordered the data returned to Plaintiff and ruled that the Defendant could not use any of the information.

In a February 2008 ruling, the Court ruled that the Defendant could not make use of any information contained in the returned ESI, even if that information was obtained legitimately, from other sources, during discovery.

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Mack Sperling
Brooks Pierce, LLP
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