Rendon puts some heat under State Farm – a Rigsby qui tam update

SLABBED is no longer alone in calling “bullshit” – but The Rendon Group put a price on it in a Motion for Award of Attorneys’ Fees under FRCP 45(C)(1) “Avoiding Undue Burden or Expense; Sanctions”:

“A party or attorney responsible for issuing and serving a subpoena must take reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on a person subject to the subpoena. The issuing court must enforce this duty and impose an appropriate sanction — which may include lost earnings and reasonable attorney’s fees — on a party or attorney who fails to comply.”

TRG, the Rendon Group, filed the Motion in federal district court in DC and “requests an award of fees and expenses totaling $15,744.60″…

“arising from State Farm’s failure to comply with its obligation to use reasonable steps to avoid imposing undue burden or expense on TRG in connection with the subpoena duces tecum issued in this matter…”

Naturally, State Farm opposes but the Company’s opposition doesn’t alter the basis of TRG’s Motion:

“The fees and expenses sought in this motion are not the total fees and expenses incurred by TRG in this matter, and do not include any fees or expenses incurred in complying with the Court’s Order of June 16,2010.

An award of these fees and expenses is warranted by Rule 45(c)(1), which states that the Court “must” enforce the issuing party’s duty to take reasonable steps to avoid undue burden and expense, and must “impose and appropriate sanction – which may include lost earnings and reasonable attorneys’ fees” on a party that fails to comply. The record of this case demonstrates that TRG raised the overbreadth of the subpoena with State Farm early in the matter, but was unable to negotiate a resolution of the issue because State Farm insisted that TRG produce a vast quantity of documents that was clearly outside the scope of the matters being litigation in the Underlying Litigation. See Memorandum in Support of Motion to Quash, Docket No.2, Mar. 9, 2010, and Exhibits thereto; Reply Memorandum of The Rendon Group and Exhibits thereto, Docket No.9, April 6, 2010.

In particular, TRG demonstrated, and the Court agreed, that the permissible scope of discovery from TRG was limited by two Orders that had been entered in the Underlying Litigation, which State Farm clearly knew about well before it issued a subpoena to TRG. See Mem. Opinion, Docket No. 24, at 2-3. The Court noted that a subpoena issued to a third party required “greater sensitivity” to the burdens imposed, and concluded that the scope of State Farm’s subpoena was so far beyond the litigation, as narrowed by judicial order, that neither State Farm’s claimed need for the information nor its claimed relevance was sufficient to overcome the burden imposed. Id. at 6-8. Therefore, the Court granted TRG’s motion is substantial part, and modified the subpoena to reduce its scope to two arguably relevant categories of information: documents concerning the Relators, and documents concerning the qui tam case they filed. It rejected or severely limited 19 other categories of documents listed in the subpoena.

TRG therefore submits that the Court has found that State Farm failed to take reasonable steps to avoid imposing under burden on TRG through the subpoena, and that an award of attorneys’ fees is therefore appropriate under Rule 45( c)(1).”

Just a thought but, given that State Farm sought information beyond the “permissible scope of discovery” as established in Orders issued by the southern district Mississippi federal court, shouldn’t the Court here consider a related action?

3 thoughts on “Rendon puts some heat under State Farm – a Rigsby qui tam update”

  1. Nowdy you reckon Walter Olsen over at Overlawyered will pick this up as an example of the high cost of our legal system? I’d submit Olsen’s blowbuddies at these mammoth corporations do far more damage that way than the trial bar. This is exhibit A that way.

    sop

  2. Speaking of the “high cost of our legal system”, Sop, these State Farm lawyers filing hundreds of pages of Exhibits must be making a killing on their “docket dumps” – and, no doubt, that’s a factor in the high cost of insurance, too.

  3. Hey Nowdy & Sop! I know, long time no hear…but I’m never far away. I may not always comment, but I ALWAYS keep abreast w/the SLABBED nation as much as I can cuz it’s something I thoroughly enjoy doing, it relaxes me, educates me, humors me, puts me in touch w/wonderful people like yall, etc.

    Anyway, Nowdy, back to the instant post, regarding, your last paragraph:

    “…Just a thought but, given that State Farm sought information beyond the

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