In any dispute involving discovery of evidence or privilege, our judicial system is left to rely, at least to some degree, on the good faith of the parties…it is crucial for this Court to be aware that State Farm’s attempt to silence damaging evidence against the company is not an isolated event or a rare occurrence, but is instead part of a concerted, corporate strategy to avoid, at any cost, damaging evidence against the insurer from ever seeing the light of day.
…In over a decade of bad faith litigation with State Farm and its defense counsel, Plaintiff’s counsel’s experience is that State Farm takes the “mad dog defense” strategy very seriously. Unfortunately, because many judges are reluctant to impose meaningful sanctions, State Farm’s strategy frequently pays off. Thur and O’Sullivan Amicus Curiae Brief
Yesterday, Judge Senter ruled on Bossier’s two Motions for Review of the U.S. Magistrate Judge’s Orders – denying both after considering Plaintiff’s objections under the standard set forth in Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a): any portion of the Magistrate Judge’s order shall be modified or set aside if it is found to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law.
The Court agrees with Defendant’s general assessment that Plaintiff’s…motions concentrate more on the substance of the underlying cause of action than on demonstrating how the Magistrate clearly erred or acted contrary to law. However, Plaintiff can hardly be criticized for pursuing further review, especially given the fact that the documents were submitted by Defendant (which had sole possession of them) for in camera inspection, meaning Plaintiff did not have access to them. The Magistrate in his…orders described in some detail the materials, but that is not the same as the documents themselves.
This Court has conducted an independent assessment of the documents reviewed in camera, and finds that the Magistrate was correct in his legal conclusion… that “it is the nature of the materials at issue and the circumstances of the case which determine whether materials were prepared in anticipation of litigation rather than the date litigation actually commenced.” Continue reading “What’s the score? Can’t tell with Senter pitching – looks like Bossier still holding bat”