Update #2: $100,000 spoliation sanction: pay up…now. (Today’s order of U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim (D. Minn.) is only a little longer than this three word summary.)
Update (12/15/2011): SGS’ response to Cenveo’s motion to enforce the court’s sanction order asap is here…
Original Post: During the course of some litigation, there are often “non-final” disputes resolved along the way (for example, a resolved dispute over payment of an adversary’s expert’s fees for time preparing for a deposition and being deposed or payments related to electronic discovery) and often it is agreed, explicitly or passively, that these fees will simply be tallied along the way to be set off or squared away on the conclusion of the matter.
On the other hand, to the extent these disputes are judicially resolved and result in judgments along the way (for example, an order that one party must pay another party’s expert’s fees), once judgment is entered, it can be immediately enforced. And, because such judgments are “non-final” judgments (that is, because they do not dispose of the case), immediate appeal is unlikely to be available.
In the heated litigation between Cenveo and Southern Graphics Systems (“SGS”), SGS may have thought that it might put its $100,000 sanction “on its tab.” Cenveo, on the other hand, would like its sanction to take effect forthwith. And, by all appearances, U.S. District Court Judge John R. Tunheim (D. Minn.) is not particularly interested in letting the issue sit idly unresolved, having issued an order on 12/13 requiring a response from SGS on 12/15 (that is, today).
(Normally, briefing for such motions would be dictated by the scheduled hearing date on the motion. In this situation, Cenveo noticed the motion with hearing date and time “to be determined…”)