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Haynes v. Indiana University

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Indianapolis Division

July 7, 2017

RAY K. HAYNES Ph.D., Plaintiff,
v.
INDIANA UNIVERSITY, THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES OF INDIANA UNIVERSITY, Defendants.

          ORDER ON MOTION FOR SANCTIONS & PENDING DISCOVERY MOTIONS

          LARRY J. McKINNEY, JUDGE.

         This matter is before the Court on seven (7) separate motions filed by the parties. Plaintiff Ray Haynes, Ph.D., has filed a Motion for Sanctions (dkt. 70), a Motion to Compel (dkt. 107), and a Motion for Rule 56(d) Relief (dkt. 109). Defendants Indiana University, the Board of Trustees of Indiana University, Joyce Alexander, Thomas Brush, Gary Crow, Thomas Gieryn, Gerardo Gonzalez, Terrence Mason, Michael McRobbie, Eliza Pvalko, and Laruen Robel (collectively “Defendants”), have filed a Motion for Leave to Submit Documents for In Camera Review (dkt. 75), a Motion for Entry of Protective Order (dkt. 78), a Motion for Leave to File Surreply In Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions (dkt. 79), and a Motion to Strike Response in Opposition to Motion (dkt. 84). The Court addresses each motion in turn.

         I. PROCEDURAL HISTORY

         On March 27, 2017, Defendants filed their Motion for Summary Judgment, which has been fully briefed by the parties. Dkt. 66.

         On March 28, 2017, Dr. Haynes filed his Motion for Sanctions Against Defendants for Unilaterally Depriving Dr. Ray Haynes of his Right to Cross-Examination; and for Taking 385 Days to Produce Material Documents (“Motion for Sanctions”). Dkt. 70.

         On April 10, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Leave to Submit Documents for In Camera Review (“Motion for In Camera Review”). Dkt. 75.

         On April 13, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Protective Order that seeks protection for the votes cast by Indiana University faculty regarding Dr. Haynes' tenure application. Dkt. 78.

         Also on April 13, 2017, Defendants filed a Motion for Leave to File Surreply in Opposition to Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions (“Motion for Surreply”). Dkt. 79.

         On April 25, 2017, Defendants submitted a Motion to Strike Dr. Haynes' Response in Opposition to the Motion for In Camera Review (“Motion to Strike”). Dkt. 84.

         On May 13, 2017, Dr. Haynes filed a Motion to Compel, which seeks to correct alleged deficiencies in Defendants' discovery responses. Dkt. 107.

         Also on May 13, 2017, Dr. Haynes filed a Motion for Rule 56(d) Relief, which requests additional time to respond to Defendants' Motion for Summary Judgment in light of the documents that Dr. Haynes alleges have not been properly produced. Dkt. 109.

         II. MOTION FOR SANCTIONS

         Dr. Haynes' Motion for Sanctions seeks relief for two violations allegedly committed by the Defendants: (1) Defendants' termination of Dr. Haynes' January 27, 2017, deposition in violation of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 30(d) (“Rule 30(d)”); and (2) Defendants' delay of 385 days in providing their privilege log and their failure for 315 days to produce non-privileged documents.

         A. DR. HAYNES' DEPOSITION

         Dr. Haynes claims that Defendants “unilaterally” terminated his deposition. Dr. Haynes' and Defendants' counsel disagreed as to the continuation of the deposition for another date. More specifically, Dr. Haynes wanted to perform his cross-examination the same evening that Dr. Haynes was deposed, but Defendants' counsel refused.

         1. Deposition

         Dr. Haynes' deposition began on January 27, 2017, at 9:40 a.m. Dkt. 70-1 at 3. At one point, Defendants' counsel called Magistrate Judge LaRue (“MJ LaRue”) to discuss whether Dr. Haynes' counsel engaged in coaching his witness and address the manner in which he objected to questions. Dkt. 70-1 at 32-35. During this phone call, Dr. Haynes' counsel agreed to waive all objections save those relating to attorney-client privilege. Dkt. 70-1 at 35. At approximately 6:00 p.m., counsel disputed the amount of time that it would take Dr. Haynes' counsel to cross-examine Dr. Haynes, because Dr. Haynes' counsel stated that he would need four to five hours. Dkt. 70-1 at 56. Defendants' counsel indicated that the deposition would not conclude until midnight if this occurred. Dkt. 70-1 at 56. Dr. Haynes' counsel responded that he would object to the cessation of the deposition, but that he was “willing to discuss another time” to resume it. Dkt. 70-1 at 56. Both counsel then discussed availability and settled on resuming the cross-examination of Dr. Haynes on February 9th at 3:30 p.m., because Dr. Haynes had to teach during morning hours. Dkt. 70-1 at 56-57. At the end of this discussion, Defendants' counsel confirmed that he could move some other events to make that time work, to which Dr. Haynes' counsel responded, “I'll talk to [Dr. Haynes] and see if he wants to do that, but for now, let's proceed with the rest of his deposition.” Dkt. 70-1 at 57.

         Defendants' counsel then resumed the questioning until, in the middle of a question by Defendants' counsel, Dr. Haynes' counsel stated that he had a court reporter in his office “if you're going to deny us to do any redirect, and I will try to keep it to only an hour to do the redirect.” Dkt. 70-1 at 63. Dr. Haynes' counsel continued, “I've called a court reporter to get a court reporter over here, and we need to talk about it now, because that's my plan. If you're denying us to do a redirect of even an hour, I think that's denial of our ability to do a redirect.” Dkt. 70-1 at 63. The parties then went off the record. Dkt. 70-1 at 63.

         At 7:11 p.m., Dr. Haynes' counsel stated that he and Defendants' counsel had a discussion of a “hard stop” of one hour for redirect, but that he was objecting to it. Dkt. 70-1 at 63-64. Defendants' counsel reiterated that Dr. Haynes' counsel claimed that the redirect would take four to five hours and that Dr. Haynes' counsel could not guarantee that he would abide by the one hour hard stop. Dkt. 70-1 at 64. Dr. Haynes' counsel responded that he would stick to the hard stop of one hour, but noted that he did so under objection. Dkt. 70-1 at 64. Defendants' counsel agreed to the one hour hard stop time. Dkt. 70-1 at 64.

         At 8:02 p.m., following a discussion off the record, both counsel recommenced the argument relating to the one-hour hard stop because Defendants' counsel's had refused to consent to a hard stop of one hour on his redirect. Dkt. 70-1 at 68-69. Defendants' counsel stated that he was concluding the deposition after his final questions, but was going to keep the deposition open so that Dr. Haynes' counsel could perform his cross-examination and to address issues relating to Dr. Haynes' counsel's behavior during the deposition. Dkt. 70-1 at 68-69.

         After more argument between counsel, Dr. Haynes and his counsel left the room and Defendants' counsel recited a summary of what occurred on the record. Dkt. 70-1 at 71-74. The deposition concluded at 8:28 p.m. Dkt. 70-1 at 74.

         2. Parties' Communications

         Approximately two hours after the conclusion of Dr. Haynes' deposition, Defendants' counsel received an email from Dr. Haynes' counsel[1] summarizing what happened during the deposition and requesting that Defendants' counsel contact Dr. Haynes' counsel to discuss the matter without the need for Court intervention - despite copying the Court on the email. Dkt. 71-1. The following day, Saturday, Dr. Haynes' counsel again emailed the Court to outline the allegedly improper conduct of Defendants' counsel and to request an in-person conference. Dkt. 71-2 at 1-3. That Monday, both counsel discussed the matter and resolved to continue Dr. Haynes' deposition to a later date. Dkt. 71-3 at 1-2. Dr. Haynes' counsel emailed the Court and stated that they had “resolved all outstanding issues relating to plaintiff's deposition” and that as a result, would not “need court intervention at this time.” Dkt 71-4.

         On February 23, 2017, approximately one month after Dr. Haynes' deposition and after Defendants objected to Dr. Haynes' request to extend the discovery deadlines, Dr. Haynes' counsel emailed Defendants' counsel to seek dates to reconvene for Dr. Haynes' deposition. Dkt. 71-5 at 2-3. Defendants' counsel supplied three dates, of which Dr. Haynes' counsel chose March 14. Dkt. 71-3 at 2-3.

         On March 1, MJ LaRue entered an Order denying Dr. Haynes' request to extend the discovery deadline. Dkt. 57. MJ LaRue noted that the Court had already afforded Dr. Haynes over six (6) months of additional discovery time, but that he waited until thirteen (13) days before the deadline's expiration to seek a fourth extension. Dkt. 57 at 2. MJ LaRue also noted that Dr. Haynes was “not diligent” in his pursuit of discovery and that at “no earlier point did [Dr. Haynes] present a motion to compel or otherwise seek intervention of the Court to address his litany of deficiencies and scheduling issues.” Dkt. 57 at 7. MJ LaRue concluded by stating that “this ruling does not foreclose [Dr. Haynes'] opportunity to promptly present, by motion, any issue related to the resumption of Defendants' deposition of [Dr. Haynes].” Dkt. 57 at 8.

         On March 13, Dr. Haynes' counsel emailed to cancel the continuation of the deposition because Dr. Haynes was ill. Dkt. 71-8 at 4-5. Defendants' counsel responded that he had no objection to cancelling and indicated that he had no further need to depose Dr. Haynes unless Dr. Haynes' counsel needed to cross-examine his client. Dkt. 71-8 at 4. After Dr. Haynes' counsel indicated that he wished to reschedule, Defendants' counsel stated that March 21, and 22, were his available dates. Dkt. 71-8 at 3. Defendants' counsel wrote that “[b]ecause the dispositive motion deadline is March 28, 2017, we need to complete Dr. Haynes's deposition by no later than March 23, 2017.” Dkt. 71-8 at 1. Dr. Haynes' counsel did not respond ...


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