Suenos, LLC v. Goldman et al
ORDER ADOPTING AND APPROVING 537 Judge Burns' Report and Recommendation. The court therefore finds that Thomas Nolasco failed to comply with the Settlement Conference Order and orders that he be sanctioned by paying a fine of $250.00. Nolasco shall deliver a check in that amount, payable to the United States Clerk of Court, District of Arizona, within 10 days of the date of this order. It is further ordered that the Clerk shall STRIKE Exhibit B to Defendant Diane Goldman's Supplemental Motion for Attorneys' Fees (Doc. No. 463 -1, pp. 11-26). Signed by Judge Tim Leonard on 2/5/14. (LSP)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA
SUENOS, LLC, an Illinois limited
DIANE GOLDMAN, a New Jersey
individual, et al.,
Case No. CV10-1034-TL
On November 8, 2013, the court referred this matter to the Honorable Michelle
H. Burns to conduct a hearing and to issue a Report and Recommendation on
whether defendant Diane Goldman’s attorney, Thomas R. Nolasco, should be held
in contempt for violating Judge Burns’ Settlement Conference Order. Judge Burns
held the hearing on November 25, 2013, after which she entertained additional
briefing. On January 9, 2014, Judge Burns issued a Report and Recommendation,
recommending that Nolasco be sanctioned1 and pay a fine of $250.00, out of his
personal funds, and that the court order the Clerk of Court to strike Exhibit B to
Defendant Goldman’s Supplemental Motion for Attorney Fees.
Recommendation at 10 (Doc. No. 537).
This matter is before the court on
The court concurs with Judge Burns’ finding that a sanction pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P.
16(f) and Local Rule 83.1(f) is the appropriate remedy for Nolasco’s conduct.
Goldman’s objections to the Report and Recommendation. While Goldman asserts
Nolasco does not object to payment of the $250.00 fine or to striking the exhibit,
Goldman contends that, on appeal, “the recommendation prohibits Goldman’s
counsel from referring to the details of the settlement offers.” Diane Goldman’s
Limited Objection to Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation re: Contempt
Sanctions at 2 (Doc. No. 542).
Based on its review of the Report and Recommendations and Goldman’s
objections, the court overrules Diane Goldman’s Limited Objection to Magistrate
Judge’s Report and Recommendation re: Contempt Sanctions (Doc. No. 542)
because the Report and Recommendation only deals with past conduct by
Goldman’s counsel in this court. Judge Burns’ well-reasoned and thoughtful Report
and Recommendation is approved and adopted in full. The court concurs with
Judge Burns’ analysis that failure to protect the confidentiality of settlement
communications would chill the settlement process. An open and frank discussion
of the strengths and weaknesses of a case is required for effective settlement
negotiations. If such discussions – particularly a party’s confidential settlement
conference memorandum – could later be filed in a case as a public document, it
would discourage the very candor necessary to the process.
The court therefore finds that Thomas Nolasco failed to comply with the
Settlement Conference Order and orders that he be sanctioned by paying a fine of
$250.00, out of his own personal funds. Nolasco shall deliver a check in that
amount, payable to the United States Clerk of Court, District of Arizona, within 10
days of the date of this order. It is further ordered that the Clerk of Court STRIKE
Exhibit B to Defendant Diane Goldman’s Supplemental Motion for Attorneys’ Fees
(Doc. No. 463-1, pp. 11-26).
It is so ordered this 5th day of February, 2014.
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