Federal Rule of Civil Procedure

A recent order from a federal magistrate judge provides helpful insight to parties concerning the destruction of evidence and the proof required to obtain the ultimate sanction of dismissal of a case as a result of such destruction. 

In McLaughlin v. Lenovo Global Tech. (United States) Inc., Magistrate Judge Gail Dein of the District of Massachusetts issued numerous sanctions against plaintiff but decided that dismissal of plaintiff’s case was too harsh a punishment after he wiped his company-issued laptop prior to returning it to defendant.

A proposed amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 7.1, which had previously required information so judges could determine if they had a conflict of interest, would require a party in a diversity action to name and disclose the citizenship of every individual or entity whose citizenship is attributed to that party. Chief Justice Roberts submitted the proposed amendment on April 11, 2022. The amended Rule 7.1 takes effect December 1, 2022, unless Congress acts.

Consumer advocates, defense attorneys, tort reformists, and trial judges are all eagerly awaiting a decision by the Ninth Circuit which all hope will clarify the process for certifying a nationwide settlement class in the Ninth Circuit. Specifically, an en banc Ninth Circuit panel will decide whether “variations in state law can defeat” predominance in class action litigation. 

Imagine this scenario: after years of litigation in federal court, your client reaches a settlement agreement with the opposing party. The lawsuit is dismissed pursuant to the settlement agreement and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 41(a)(1). When the opposing party breaches the settlement agreement, you promptly file a motion to compel enforcement – only to have your motion denied for lack of jurisdiction.