Searching over 5,500,000 cases.

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.

Brooks v. Agate Resources, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Oregon

November 20, 2017

AGATE RESOURCES, INC., dba Trillium Community Health Plan, Defendant.


          Jolie A. Russo, United States Magistrate Judge

         Pro se plaintiff Michael Brooks brings this employment discrimination action against defendant Agate Resources Inc. Plaintiff moves for reconsideration of the Court's October 16, 2017, Order (“October Order”), an interlocutory appeal, and other miscellaneous relief. For the reasons set forth below, plaintiff's motions are granted in part, and denied in part.


         On June 4, 2015, plaintiff, proceeding pro se, filed a complaint in this Court alleging claims for age and disability discrimination, and whistleblower retaliation. On September 29, 2015, plaintiff provided notice that he retained Michael Vergamini as counsel. On March 17, 2017, plaintiff substituted Marianne Dugan as counsel.

         On April 24, 2017, the parties' conferred regarding this lawsuit; defense counsel agreed to join plaintiff's forthcoming request to extend the then-current discovery deadline by two months, from August 31, 2017, until October 31, 2017. Additionally, the parties discussed potentially staying this lawsuit to allow for the resolution of a related matter and to permit plaintiff the opportunity to amend his complaint.

         During May and June 2017, defendant's attorneys contacted Ms. Dugan numerous times to ask whether she intended to file an amended complaint or seek an extension of pretrial deadlines. Because Ms. Dugan did not respond, defendant served its Requests for Production on June 29, 2017. Ms. Dugan thereafter did not furnish any responsive documents, so that on August 15, 2017, defendant moved for sanctions and to compel production.

         At some unspecified time thereafter, Ms. Dugan produced hundreds of pages of documents to defendant. In opposing defendant's Motion to Compel, Ms. Dugan acknowledged she inadvertently failed to move to extend pretrial deadlines and therefore requested a discovery extension until October 31, 2017, as she had neither served any discovery requests nor taken any depositions on plaintiff's behalf.

         On August 31, 2017, the Court denied defendant's Motion to Compel as moot but imposed sanctions against Ms. Dugan as required under Fed.R.Civ.P. 37. The Court also extended the discovery deadline until September 15, 2017, for the limited purpose of allowing defendant to depose plaintiff.

         On September 13, 2017, plaintiff moved for reasonable accommodations during his forthcoming deposition (and corresponding sanctions against Ms. Dugan and defense counsel for failing to disclose his disability to the Court) and to proceed pro se. He also sought reconsideration of the Court's August 31, 2017, Order to the extent it failed to generally extend the discovery deadline. At that time, plaintiff informed the Court that he had filed a PLF complaint against Ms. Dugan based upon her failure to communicate, disclosure of privileged materials, and receipt of $1000 for depositions which never occurred.

         Later that same day, the Court granted plaintiff's request to proceed pro se. The Court, in relevant part, stayed the current discovery deadline, struck the deposition scheduled for September 15, 2017, allowed plaintiff 30 days to locate substitute counsel, and indicated that a new case schedule would be set.

         Thereafter, plaintiff filed five motions/declarations seeking sanctions and criminal charges against Ms. Dugan and defense counsel, as well as the ability to work in no greater than two hour increments (with extended breaks), an investigation into missing discovery documents and Ms. Dugan's disclosure of allegedly privileged materials, an order requiring defendant to return all discovery provided by Ms. Dugan, apologies from all parties, back pay, punitive damages, and the return of the full $1000 Ms. Dugan received for the express purpose of conducting depositions.[1] Plaintiff did not confer with defendant in relation to any of his filings.

         In the October Order, the Court denied plaintiff's motions for a number of reasons. Notably, plaintiff failed to satisfy LR 7-1, make the requisite showing of privilege, or follow the procedures set forth in Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(5)(B) or Fed.R.Civ.P. 11. Order 5-7 (Oct. 16, 2017) (doc. 88). The Court also found that defendant's service of reasonable discovery requests, well in advance of the Scheduling Order's deadline, represented an appropriate response to being sued and therefore was neither indicative of bad faith nor potential criminal conduct. Id. Finally, the Court explained to plaintiff that it lacked jurisdiction to preside over issues pertaining to Ms. Dugan's alleged malpractice or plaintiff's management of his disability outside of the courthouse, or to otherwise engage in any independent investigations relating to counsels' conduct or the content or location of discovery documents. Id. at 6.

         The Court nonetheless ordered Ms. Dugan, in light of her withdrawal as counsel, to return to plaintiff any remaining documents in her possession that were furnished by plaintiff to the extent she is not entitled to retain them. Id. at 7-8. In addition, the Court ordered defendant to provide plaintiff with a copy of all discovery documents produced by Ms. Dugan, in the form they were produced. Id. at 8. The Court further instructed plaintiff to work with defendant to specifically identify the privileged documents he believes were inadvertently produced and, within 30 days, file a Joint Status Report apprising the Court of the status of his efforts to retain counsel and retrieve Ms. Dugan's allegedly privileged disclosures. Id. The Court indicated it would reset pretrial deadlines after reviewing the parties' Joint Status Report and afford plaintiff reasonable extensions of time where appropriately requested.

         During late October and early November 2017, plaintiff filed four additional motions. Specifically, plaintiff now moves for reconsideration of the October Order or, alternatively, for an interlocutory appeal. Plaintiff does not detail the particular issues he seeks to challenge beyond recounting what he deems to be the relevant facts and noting that the Court “misunderst[ood]” Ms. Dugan's “malicious [and] purposeful attempt to harm [him] and wreck this case.” Pl.'s Mot. Appeal 2-16 (doc. 91). As relief, plaintiff requests: (1) defendant's counsel and “any attorney or expert who received privileged and stolen records and documents in other cases” be disqualified; (2) sanctions against defense counsel and Ms. Dugan, and an order requiring them to pay his ongoing court costs; (3) “a new judge in this case, preferably one [from] outside the Oregon District”; (4) reasonable accommodations in the form of time extensions and an order authorizing plaintiff to only ...

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.