Law360 profiles a win by Bailey & Glasser, LLP before the United States Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit. The article, “‘Sandbagging’ Sinks Disbarred Atty’s Appeal Of Sanctions” details the case and appeal, which affirmed an $828,000 default judgment as sanctions against a disbarred attorney-turned-telemarketing defendant and his cohorts who concealed key discovery and disobeyed court orders.
Bailey Glasser partner Sharon Iskra originally filed the lawsuit on behalf of Diana Mey in 2019 in the Northern District of West Virginia after Ms. Mey received a flood of unwanted telemarketing phone calls concerning debt relief. The suit alleged violations of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) and West Virginia Consumer Credit and Protection Act (WVCCPA) for illegally contacting Ms. Mey despite her registration on the national “Do Not Call” phone list and her repeated requests that the calls stop.
During the three years of ensuing litigation, Iskra uncovered that the defendants not only evaded discovery concerning their joint enterprise but had actively concealed over 15 shared companies, some of which had been formed while discovery was in progress. The district court agreed that the defendants had engaged in a “pattern of concealing discoverable material” and repeatedly balked at orders, resulting in the court sanctioning them with the default judgment in April 2022.
Bailey Glasser attorney Benjamin Hogan skillfully defended the award before the Fourth Circuit. In a unanimous, published opinion, the three-judge panel affirmed default judgment as an appropriate sanction for Defendants’ “relentless sandbagging and failure to disclose discoverable materials.”
Read the full Law360 article here, and to learn more about this case and read the opinion visit our website.
The U.S. Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed Bailey & Glasser, LLP’s $828,000 default judgment win as sanctions against a group of telemarketing defendants who concealed their joint enterprise from discovery and disobeyed orders of a lower court compelling full disclosures. The BG team led by partner Sharon Iskra requested the sanction against the companies for persistently “sandbagging” discovery necessary to their client’s case.
Over several years of litigation, Bailey Glasser’s team uncovered that Defendants evaded discovery and actively concealed over 15 shared companies. The district court judge found that Defendants acted in bad faith, warranting one of the most severe sanctions to deter future misconduct: granting Bailey Glasser’s request for default judgment for the full amount of statutory penalties available under telemarketing laws pled in her Complaint.
On appeal, the Fourth Circuit affirmed this decision in its entirety. In the scathing 39-page precedential opinion, the court noted the “[a]ppellants’ relentless sandbagging and failure to disclose discoverable materials, including the existence of business entities founded during the course of this case, demonstrate a continued pattern of discovery abuse.” Bailey Glasser lawyer Ben Hogan wrote the winning appellate brief and skillfully argued before the Fourth Circuit.
“Severe discovery abuses warrant severe sanctions. We are glad to see the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure still have teeth and that the district judges’ decisions to enforce them are upheld,” said Sharon Iskra. “We are especially pleased to have a published opinion that resonates to curtail future discovery abuses that cause delays and prejudice to litigants everywhere.”
Learn more and read the opinion here.