United States District Court, W.D. North Carolina, Asheville Division
matter is before the Court on Defendant Robert J. Uhren, Jr.,
M.D.'s ("Defendant Uhren") Reasonable Expenses
Statement [#51] regarding sanctions. Defendant Uhren
previously moved for the imposition of sanctions against
Plaintiff for Plaintiff s failure to serve initial
disclosures [#41]. The Court imposed sanctions on Plaintiff
for Defendant's Uhren's reasonable expenses including
attorney's fees [#46]. Plaintiff has not responded.
On April 13, 2017, Plaintiff filed his Complaint [# 1].
Plaintiff was represented by Mary March Williams Exum
("Exum"). On April 14, 2017, Plaintiff filed his
Amended Complaint [# 2]. On July 11, 2017, Attorney KLristin
Harmon Lang ("Lang") filed a Notice of Appearance
[# 25] stating that she would join Exum in representing
Plaintiff. On August 29, 2017, Exum was terminated from
Plaintiff s case because her North Carolina State Bar license
had been suspended for five years [#38]. Thus, Lang became
Plaintiffs lead attorney.
September 14, 2017, the parties filed their Certification of
Initial Attorney's Conference [# 39]. September 19, 2017,
the Court entered a Pretrial Order and Case Management Plan
[# 40] that required the parties to provide Rule 26 initial
disclosures on October 4, 2017. All defendants in this case
provided Plaintiff s counsel with initial disclosures.
Plaintiff s counsel did not.
October 25, 2017, Defendant Uhren filed his motion to compel
Plaintiffs initial disclosures [# 41]. Up until that point,
defendants had given Plaintiffs counsel many opportunities to
provide initial disclosures without moving for sanctions [##
41, 42, 44, & 45]. On November 16, 2017, the Court
ordered that Plaintiffs counsel Lang provide defendants with
Plaintiffs initial disclosures by November 23, 2017, and the
Court imposed sanctions on Plaintiffs counsel Lang for
Defendant's Uhren's reasonable expenses including
attorney's fees [# 46]. On November 30, 2017, Defendant
Uhren provided the Court with a Reasonable Expenses Statement
alongside affidavits from his attorneys [# 51-53]. Plaintiffs
counsel Lang has not responded to Defendant Uhren or any
other defendant's motions for initial disclosures and
December 5, 2017, Lang attempted to withdraw from the Case.
On December 6, 2017, the Court denied Lang's motion to
general, a party must provide the opposing side its initial
disclosures within fourteen days of the parties' Rule
26(f) conference or within the time set by the Court.
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)(1)(C). The purpose of Rule 26(a)(1) is to
provide for the disclosure of basic information needed in
most every case in order to prepare for trial or make an
informed decision as to settlement. Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(a)
advisory committee's note to 1993 amendment.
party fails to comply with the initial disclosure
requirements of Rule 26, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
provide for the imposition of sanctions against the offending
party. Specifically, Rule 37(b)(2)(A), (C) provides:
If a party's officer . . . fails to obey an order to
provide or permit discovery, including an order under Rule
26(f), ... the Court must order the disobedient party, the
attorney advising that party, or both to pay the reasonable
expenses, including attorney's fees, caused by the
failure, unless the failure was substantially justified or
other circumstances make an award of expenses unjust.
counsel Lang was given many grace periods to provide initial
disclosures by all defendants [see ## 41, 42, 44,
& 45]. Lang has refused to respond to defendants and to
the Court's order requiring initial disclosures by
November 23, 2017 [#46].
review of the relevant legal authority and the entire record
in this case, the Court finds that Plaintiffs counsel should
be ordered to pay the attorney's fees of Defendant's
counsel attributable to the motion to compel [#41].
calculating the amount of attorney's fees to award, the
Court first determines the lodestar figure by multiplying the
reasonable number of hours expended by the reasonable hourly
rate. McAfee v. Boczar, 738 F.3d 81, 88 (4th Cir.
2013). In determining what constitutes a ...