BREAKING NEWS! Judge Senter moves State Farm counterclaim to separate trial; will try Rigsby qui tam first

I am of the opinion that an attempt to try the Relators’ claim and State Farm’s counterclaim in a single proceeding is likely to hopelessly confuse the jury on the merits of both claims. Accordingly, I will bifurcate the trial of these two claims, and I will hear the evidence on the Relators’ qui tam claim first. I will stay discovery on State Farm’s counterclaim until the trial of the Relators’ claim has been completed, and I will schedule a separate trial to reach the merits of the counterclaim.

It’s been over a year since Judge Senter made his priority perfectly clear.

…I have watched the property damage insurance claims, the contract claims at the heart [of] these cases, being pushed off their rightful place at center stage by the escalating heat of the battles…it is my sincere hope that the type of normal, professional, and focused advocacy necessary to resolve the individual merits of the cases still outstanding will presently come to the fore.

SLABBED applauded him then and we applaud him again today.  Since this post started with his bottom line, let’s back up and look at his logic path.

The parties have submitted letters to the Court stating their respective positions on the discovery that must be conducted to prepare for trial on the merits of this action. The main disagreement between the parties is whether this discovery and the trial itself should include State Farm Fire and Casualty Company’s (State Farm) counterclaim for the Relators’ alleged misappropriation and misuse of certain claims documents. Continue reading “BREAKING NEWS! Judge Senter moves State Farm counterclaim to separate trial; will try Rigsby qui tam first”

Oh my God! State Farm files motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discovery

I come to the Garden alone
While the dew is still on the roses
and the voice I hear, falling on my ear…

is Scott Spragins – and he walks with me and he talks with me and he tells me:

State Farm propounded its First Set of Interrogatories and First Request for Production on 6 May 2009. Plaintiff propounded responses to State Farm’s interrogatories and request for production on 6 May 2009. (Plaintiff’s Responses to Interrogatories and Request for Production attached as Exhibit A).

On 27 May 2009 State Farm’s counsel directed the attached Good Faith Letter to Plaintiffs’ counsel in an attempt to secure supplemental responses. (Good Faith Letter attached as Exhibit B [Exhibits B-F ]).  State Farm’s counsel specifically advised that “[m]any of these responses are evasive or incomplete,and require immediate supplementation.” (see Exhibit B).

Exhibit E motion to compel
State Farm's Motion to Compel Supplemental Discovery from New Life Baptist Church: Exhibit E

On 21 July 2009 Plaintiff’s counsel advised it was working with Pastor Nathaniel Smith and that it would supplement discovery no later than 4 August 2009. (see Exhibit C).  On 19 August 2009 after Plaintiff failed to provide supplemental responses by 4 August 2009, counsel for State Farm again wrote requesting same. (see Exhibit D).

Finally on 21 August 2009 counsel for Plaintiff advised “after careful consideration by the Pastor, he has determined that he is unable to add anything further.” (see Exhibit E).

Can you believe it? A motion to compel a church to supplement discovery when clearly Pastor Smith’s careful consideration Continue reading “Oh my God! State Farm files motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discovery”