Williams v. Udell

690 So.2d 732, 22 Fla. L. Weekly D845

Judges and Attorneys

District Court of Appeal of Florida, Fourth District.

Thomas F. WILLIAMS, Appellant,
v.
Ira UDELL and Broward Educational Services, Inc., a Florida corporation, Appellees.

No. 96-0882.

April 2, 1997.

Plaintiffs moved for sanctions against defendant for failing to attend mediation conference and providing improper reply to request for production. The Fifteenth Judicial Circuit Court, Palm Beach County, Catherine M. Brunson, J., granted motion and struck defendant's pleadings as sanction, and defendant appealed. The District Court of Appeal held that level of misconduct was insufficient to justify severe sanction of striking pleadings.
Reversed and remanded.

West Headnotes


[1] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

Key Number Symbol 307A Pretrial Procedure
Key Number Symbol 307AII Depositions and Discovery
Key Number Symbol 307AII(E) Production of Documents and Things and Entry on Land
Key Number Symbol 307AII(E)6 Failure to Comply; Sanctions
Key Number Symbol 307Ak434 k. In General. Most Cited Cases

Key Number Symbol 307A Pretrial Procedure Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote
Key Number Symbol 307AV Pretrial Conference
Key Number Symbol 307Ak746 k. Failure to Attend; Sanctions. Most Cited Cases

Level of misconduct did not justify striking party's pleadings as sanction for failing to attend mediation conference or provide proper response to request for production; both incidents reflected derelictions of party's attorney. West's F.S.A. RCP Rule 1.350.
[2] Headnote Citing References KeyCite Citing References for this Headnote

Key Number Symbol 307A Pretrial Procedure
Key Number Symbol 307AII Depositions and Discovery
Key Number Symbol 307AII(E) Production of Documents and Things and Entry on Land
Key Number Symbol 307AII(E)6 Failure to Comply; Sanctions
Key Number Symbol 307Ak434 k. In General. Most Cited Cases

Sanctions could be imposed against party for failing to produce documents.
*732 Russell L. Forkey of Russell L. Forkey, P.A., Boca Raton, for appellant.

Lynne K. Hennessey, Boca Raton, for appellees.

PER CURIAM.


[1] Headnote Citing References Under the facts of this case, we find that the trial court abused its discretion in *733 striking appellant's pleadings as a sanction for failing to attend a mediation conference. The record does not demonstrate that level of misconduct which justifies the imposition of the severest of sanctions. See Roggemann v. Boston Safe Deposit and Trust Co., 670 So.2d 1073 (Fla. 4th DCA 1996) ; Townsend v. Feinberg, 659 So.2d 1218 (Fla. 4th DCA 1995) . Other than the failure to attend mediation, the only misconduct relied upon by the trial court to justify the sanction was a failure to properly reply to a request for production. In response to an order compelling production, appellant prepared a two page handwritten memorandum, which he faxed to his attorney. The attorney then faxed his client's handwritten missive to opposing counsel, instead of working with appellant to prepare a proper response under Fla.R.Civ.P. 1.350. Both incidents of misconduct reflect derelictions of appellant's attorney, FN1 which do not support the striking of appellant's pleadings in this case. See Kozel v. Ostendorf, 629 So.2d 817 (Fla.1994) ; Crystal Lake Golf Course, Inc. v. Kalin, 252 So.2d 379 (Fla. 4th DCA 1971) .

FN1. Williams' appellate attorney did not handle the case at the trial level.


[2] Headnote Citing References As to the order imposing sanctions for the failure to produce documents, we find no abuse of discretion. We reverse the final judgment, the partial final judgment in favor of plaintiff as to liability and the November 2, 1995 order granting plaintiffs' motion for sanctions. In light of the reversal, it is unnecessary to reach the other issue on appeal.
REVERSED AND REMANDED.

POLEN, PARIENTE and GROSS, JJ., concur.




Fla.App. 4 Dist.,1997.
Williams v. Udell
690 So.2d 732, 22 Fla. L. Weekly D845


Judges and Attorneys (Back to top) Judges | Attorneys Judges

  • Brunson, Hon. Catherine M.

State of Florida Circuit Court, 15th Judicial Circuit Florida Litigation History Report | Judicial Reversal Report | Judicial Expert Challenge Report | Profiler

  • Gross, Hon. Robert M.

State of Florida District Court of Appeal, 4th District Florida Litigation History Report | Judicial Reversal Report | Judicial Expert Challenge Report | Profiler

  • Polen, Hon. Mark E.

State of Florida District Court of Appeal, 4th District Florida Litigation History Report | Judicial Reversal Report | Judicial Expert Challenge Report | Profiler


Attorneys Attorneys for Appellant

  • Forkey, Russell L. Esq.

Boca Raton, Florida Litigation History Report | Profiler
Attorneys for Appellee

  • Hennessey, Lynne K.

Boca Raton, Florida Litigation History Report | Profiler