…and the Saints go marching in Katrina litigation

Oh, the Lord works in mysterious ways.  For example, tomorrow the trial in Bossier v State Farm begins on – trumpets, please – on All Souls Day.  Today, however, we celebrate All Saints!

One could say the slabbed have some saints-in-the- making –  it really is a miracle a case ever gets to trial! For now, we’ll just call them angels:

The English word “angel” comes from the Greek angelos, which means ‘messenger’.

Three who come to mind are Coast attorneys Judy Guice, Deborah Trotter, and Rose Hurder.  Guice will take her message to court tomorrow; so, let’s take a look at the others – and, since the Saints will still be marching if I type fast enough to get ahead of the Souls, a look at New Light Baptist v State Farm seems the appropriate place to start.  If you need background, check Oh my God! State Farm files motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discovery and the update in September’s SLABBED Monthly.

I’ve been regularly checking PACER for weeks expecting to see that New Light’s counsel,Deborah Trotter, and State Farm had settled the case. When new items appeared on the docket Friday, it was clear the case had not settled (understatement).

…pursuant to Rule 30(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the Plaintiff, New Light Baptist Church, will take the video deposition upon oral examination of one or more officers, directors or managing agents, or other designated person(s) who consents to testify on behalf of State Farm Fire and Casualty Company on December 14, 2009 and December 15, 2009, at the offices of Hickman, Goza & Spragins, 115 Homestead Drive, Madison, MS 39110, beginning at 9:00 a.m.

When you pull the Notice, you’ll find a detailed list of the information State Farm’s 30(b)(6) representative needs to be capable of discussing.  Trotter never fails to surprise me; yet, even knowing that, the last thing I was expecting was a Continue reading “…and the Saints go marching in Katrina litigation”

SLABBED Daily – October 1

The big slab of the day comes from President Obama who apparently can’t tell a federal flood from a hurricane.  Geoff Pender reports for the Sun Herald.

The White House on Wednesday indicated that President Barack Obama’s trip to the “hurricane damaged Gulf Coast” will not include Mississippi, nor, apparently, the Gulf Coast.

“The President will travel to New Orleans,” a White House spokesman said in a written response to the Sun Herald’s question of whether he would travel to Mississippi in his first trip to the region after being elected. Obama had promised to visit the Katrina damaged region by the end of his first year in office.

So the change we need is…a map.  Quick, someone get the President a map!

It appears State Farm has a similar problem.  Deborah Trotter’s response in opposition to State Farm’s motion to compel New Light Baptist Church to supplement discover tells that story: Continue reading “SLABBED Daily – October 1”

SLABBED Monthly – September (catching up on Rigsby, Bossier, Robohm, Anthony, Harris, Montet, Lizana, and New Light Baptist v State Farm)

Thirty days hath September; but, this September it would take 60 to get everything done – and I’m not the only one wondering if the season is called “fall” because those who don’t fall behind are about to fall over.  Sop sends me text messages as he and little Sop make their way from football practice to a soccer game; and, I text back as soon as I find a place to pull over.  Since we can’t begin October without September done, I’ve grabbed a handful of incomplete posts and tossed the basic information into this update.

Rigsby v State Farm:

NOTICE of Hearing: Telephonic Status Conference set for 10/13/2009 01:30 PM before Magistrate Judge Robert H. Walker to establish a scheduling order for the discovery and trial of the Relators claim. One week prior to the conference, counsel are to submit, via email, a confidential memo in PDF format, detailing anticipated discovery by each party (including the number and names of deponents) and a requested time frame for discovery.

Bossier v State Farm

Several interesting developments here including this surprising one – Judge Walker issued an Order denying (yes, denying) a State Farm motion!

The evidence presented to the Court is uncontested that Fountain prepared the affidavit; that the affidavit included only part of what Ziz told Fountain; and that it omitted information about the rapid rise of flood waters from the Bay of  Biloxi. This Court finds such evidence insufficient to warrant disqualification of counsel. It is therefore, ORDERED that the motion to disqualify Attorney Stanton J. Fountain , Jr. as counsel for Plaintiff is denied.

Bossier’s counsel, coast attorney Judy Guice aka Seabiscuit (Judybisquit) withdrew the motion to expedit a  hearing on sanctions against State Farm for violation of the court’s September 3 order pending review of the documents belatedly provided by State Farm. (emphasis added)

On September 24, 2009, at approximately noon, counsel for Plaintiff received four discs represented to contain claims files ordered by this Honorable Court on September 3, 2009. Said discs appear to contain documents relating to approximately 150 claims files. (emphasis on 150 added!)

Meanwhile, State Farm has filed Continue reading “SLABBED Monthly – September (catching up on Rigsby, Bossier, Robohm, Anthony, Harris, Montet, Lizana, and New Light Baptist v State Farm)”

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”