Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Castelino v. Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology

United States District Court, S.D. Indiana, Terre Haute Division

September 18, 2018

JUSTIN CASTELINO, Plaintiff,
v.
ROSE-HULMAN INSTITUTE OF TECHNOLOGY, Defendant.

          ENTRY ADDRESSING OBJECTION TO REPORT AND RECOMMENDATION

          Hon. William T. Lawrence, Judge

         United States Magistrate Judge Matthew Brookman was designated pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(B) to issue a report and recommendation regarding the appropriate disposition of the parties' motions for sanctions that arose out of a settlement conference held by Magistrate Judge Brookman (Dkt. Nos. 117 and 124). The Plaintiff has filed timely objections to the Magistrate Judge's report and recommendation regarding both motions (Dkt. No. 243, objecting to Dkt. No. 234). The Court, being duly advised, now addresses the Plaintiff's objections, having conducted the de novo review required by 28 U.S.C. § 636(b).

         Background

         On August 29, 2017, Magistrate Judge Brookman issued an order scheduling a settlement conference in this case on Monday, September 25, 2017. The order included the following:

Three business days before the scheduled conference, the parties shall submit (not file) to the Magistrate Judge a confidential settlement statement setting forth a brief statement of: (1) relevant facts, including any key facts that the party believes are admitted or in dispute; (2) damages, including any applicable back pay, mitigation, compensatory and/or punitive damages, or any other special damages; and (3) any pending or anticipated dispositive or other substantive motions. The confidential settlement statement should not exceed five, double-spaced pages, and submission of exhibits should be kept to a minimum.
No later than fourteen days prior to the settlement conference, Plaintiff(s) shall serve an updated settlement demand on Defendant(s), who shall serve an updated response no later than seven days before the settlement conference. The parties shall submit (not file) to the Magistrate Judge courtesy copies of their respective demand and response at the time of service. Counsel may submit confidential settlement statements and copies of their settlement demand/response to Chambers via mail or email (mpbsettlement@insd.uscourts.gov).

Dkt. No. 102 at 3 (emphasis in original).

         As Magistrate Judge Brookman recites in his Report and Recommendation:

On September 18, 2017, the Court was courtesy copied on an email by defense counsel to plaintiff's counsel, advising Plaintiff that Defendant had not received an updated settlement demand prior to the fourteen day deadline and that, to stay in accordance with the Court's deadlines, the Defendant “does not make any monetary offer to settle the case.” (Docket No. 124-2). On September 24, 2017, at 10:28 p.m., plaintiff's counsel emailed defense counsel plaintiff's updated demand, which included a number of monetary and non-monetary factors dependent upon whether or not reinstatement was part of any proposed agreement. (Docket No. 124-3). The updated demand was substantially higher than the previous demand Plaintiff provided.
On September 25, 2017, the Court held a settlement conference. During the joint session, which was held in the courtroom and on the record, the Court addressed Plaintiff's failure to abide by the Settlement Conference Order. (September 25, 2017, 3:00). When asked by the Court, Plaintiff's counsel, John Thrasher admitted that he did not email a confidential settlement statement three (3) business days prior to the settlement conference, instead submitting one on Sunday, September 24, 2017, hours prior to the settlement conference. When asked if he had good cause for his failure, Mr. Thrasher responded: “I didn't read it carefully, that's the simple truth.” (September 25, 2017, 4:32). Similarly, Mr. Thrasher admitted that he did not email an updated settlement demand fourteen (14) business days prior to the settlement conference, instead submitting it on Sunday, September 24, 2017, hours prior to the settlement conference. When asked by the Court, again, if he had good cause for his failure, Mr. Thrasher responded: “Again, I'm afraid not.” (September 25, 2017 7:00).
Subsequent to this questioning, Defendant requested the Court order sanctions during the conference for Plaintiff's non-compliance with the Court order. (September 25, 2017, 8:30). Defendant asserted prejudice given the updated, untimely settlement demand was substantially larger than Plaintiff's previous demands and that this fact, combined with the number of outstanding discovery disputes at the time of the conference, substantially impaired the parties' abilities to effectively negotiate a resolution at the settlement conference. (September 25, 2017, 9:28). Plaintiff was given an opportunity to respond and, while he attempted to provide justification for the increase in demand, he provided no reasoning for his noncompliance with the Court order other than “I have no-it was my own neglect.” (September 25, 2017, 10:47). The Court reserved ruling on Defendant's request for sanctions and granted Defendant leave to file a written motion. (Docket No. 122).

Dkt. No. 234 at 3-5. Following the settlement conference, both parties filed motions for sanctions, which the Court referred to Magistrate Judge Brookman for a report and recommendation. Magistrate Judge Brookman recommended that the Defendant's motion be granted and the Plaintiff's motion be denied. The Plaintiff filed a timely objection to the report and recommendation.

         Plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions (Dkt. No. 117)[1]

         The Plaintiff objects to Magistrate Judge Brookman's recommendation that the Plaintiff's motion for sanctions be denied, arguing that the Defendant also failed to comply with Magistrate Judge Brookman's order and that the Defendant's negotiations at ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.