The opinion of the court was delivered by: PAUL FRIEDMAN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
This matter is before the Court on plaintiffs' Motion for Completion
of Certain Discovery under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 56(f) prior to
the Court's ruling on defendants' motion for partial summary judgment.
The Court has examined plaintiffs' motion and has determined that it
should be denied.
In support of their motion, plaintiffs have submitted a declaration by
counsel, Exhibit A, attaching what appears to be every motion to compel
filed with the Special Master and copies of three of the Special Master's
reports and recommendations. Although the Court questions the necessity
of including as an exhibit every motion to compel, these papers are at
least useful to the Court. Plaintiffs have also submitted, as Exhibit D,
an entire box of deposition transcripts and deposition exhibits. Exhibit
D is referenced in plaintiffs' exhibit only as follows:
The depth and breadth of information withheld by
Papst witnesses is summarized in the chart
attached hereto as Exhibit D. As clearly
established by Exhibit D, Papst witnesses have
failed to provide substantive responses to the
questions posed related to the negotiation,
formation and interpretation of the `95 Agreement
(or any of the other agreements incorporated
therein.) See PL Mot. at 17. Exhibit D consists of a 108 page chart
of deposition excerpts. The first four exhibits are copies of all of the
cited deposition pages. They are followed by 126 more exhibits which
represent all the documents being discussed in the 108 pages of
The Court has previously expressed its frustration at the unnecessary
volume of paper with which counsel feel compelled to inundate the Court.
It is unnecessary, in a Rule 56(f) motion, to supply the Court with every
conceivable deposition excerpt which exemplifies times at which
plaintiffs allege to have been denied information relevant to defendants'
motion for partial summary judgment. Such briefing methods are
counterproductive and waste the Court's time and the clients' money. The
Court is also displeased, and it is not referring to only this
submission, by the manner in which counsel have abused their ability to
submit motions and exhibits under seal in toto by attaching exhibits
indiscriminately. The Court will require counsel to be more judicious in
their choices from this time forward.
In addition, the Court notes that plaintiffs have also filed an
opposition to defendants' motion for partial summary judgment.
Plaintiffs' opposition is 64 pages long and is accompanied by a statement
of material facts with 119 exhibits. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure
56(f) states that "[s]hould it appear from the affidavits of a party
opposing the motion that the party cannot for reasons stated present by
affidavit facts essential to justify the party's opposition, the court
may refuse the application for judgment or may order a continuance to
permit affidavits to be obtained or depositions to be taken or discovery
to be had . . ." Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(f). Although plaintiffs' Rule 56(f)
motion contains a declaration with a litany of the discovery which
plaintiffs have been refused, or which has been delayed, plaintiffs have
still managed to assemble the aforementioned 64 page, 119 exhibit
opposition. The Court sees no reason why it should reserve ruling on defendants' motion when plaintiffs have already
submitted what appears to be a quite comprehensive opposition. If
plaintiffs are correct, as they suggest, that the issues in defendants'
motion for partial summary judgment are so fact-based, it will be denied
under traditional summary judgment standards.
Accordingly, it is hereby,
ORDERED that plaintiffs' motion for completion of certain discovery is
DENIED and the exhibits are STRICKEN; counsel for plaintiffs are
instructed to collect their documents from Chambers; it is
FURTHER ORDERED that, in the future, all non-dispositive motions shall
be limited to 20 pages; oppositions to non-dispositive motions shall be
limited to 20 pages; and replies to non-dispositive motions shall be
limited to 10 pages; it is
FURTHER ORDERED that in the future the parties may file affidavits or
declarations where appropriate, but shall not file exhibits to
non-dispositive motions without leave of Court; it is
FURTHER ORDERED that in the future the Court will not accept entire
filings under seal. Rather, two versions of the motions, briefs, and
deposition excerpts shall be filed. Version One shall redact
only confidential financial, technical and/or proprietary
business information and shall be filed on the public record; if
necessary, it shall be reviewed line-by-line so as to redact as little as
possible; legal arguments shall never be redacted. Version Two shall
contain no redactions and shall be filed in the Clerk's Office,
accompanied by a motion seeking a Court Order to submit the unredacted
version under seal; and it is FURTHER ORDERED that plaintiffs' opposition to defendants' motion for
partial summary judgment is STRICKEN from the record; plaintiffs shall
re-file their opposition on or before May 14, 2004 in accordance with the
sealing and redaction procedures enunciated in this Order.
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