United States District Court, D. Idaho
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
C. Nye, Chief District Court Judge.
before the Court is Pro Se Plaintiff Josephine Guion’s
(“Guion”) Motion for Sanctions Against Defense
Counsel (Dkt. 38), Motion for Intervention and Sanctions
Against Defense Counsel (Dkt. 39), Motion for Extension of
Time to Amend Complaint (Dkt. 42), Motion for Process of
Service by the U.S. Marshal Service (Dkt. 49), Motion for
Deposition by Remote Means (Dkt. 52), and Motion for
Depositions of Defendants by Written Questions (Dkt. 53).
Having reviewed the record and briefs, the Court finds that
the facts and legal arguments are adequately presented.
Accordingly, in the interest of avoiding further delay, and
because the Court finds that the decisional process would not
be significantly aided by oral argument, the Court will
address the motions without oral argument. Dist. Idaho Loc.
Civ. R. 7.1(d)(1)(B).
reasons outlined below, the Court finds good cause to DENY
Guion’s Motion for Sanctions Against Defense Counsel
(Dkt. 38) and Motion for Intervention and Sanctions Against
Defense Counsel (Dkt. 39); GRANT Guion’s Motion for
Extension of Time to Amend Complaint (Dkt. 42) and Motion for
Process of Service by the U.S. Marshal Service (Dkt. 49); and
DISMISS AS MOOT Guion’s Motion for Deposition by Remote
Means (Dkt. 52) and Motion for Depositions of Defendants by
Written Questions (Dkt. 53).
background of this case is set forth in the Court’s
prior order (Dkt 14). The Court incorporates that background
by reference here.
14, 2019, James Stoll, counsel for Defendants, initiated a phone
conversation with Guion to discuss negotiations and the
possibility of mediation. The two talked about Guion’s
settlement demands and their respective positions on the
strength of her claims. They also attempted to resolve
certain discovery disputes. During a follow-up phone
conversation on June 13, 2019, Stoll informed Guion that
Defendants would not accept her demands for settlement. They
then discussed more discovery issues and the timeline for the
remaining litigation in this case.
on her view of the conversations, the following day Guion
called Stoll’s firm and informed it that she intended
to file a complaint against Stoll with the Court and the
Idaho State Bar Association for his inappropriate and
unethical conduct during the phone conversations.
18, 2019, Phillip J. Collaer (“Collaer”), another
attorney working on the case, emailed Guion. This email
contained a meet and confer letter, pursuant to the recent
discovery disputes. At the end of the email, Collaer informed
Guion that due to her allegations, all future communications
between Guion and Defendants’ counsel would have to
occur in writing. The day after Guion received the email, she
filed her Motion for Sanctions Against Defense Counsel (Dkt.
has filed various motions. The Court considers each in turn:
Motions for Sanctions Against Defense Counsel (Dkts.
moves this Court to sanction Stoll for violating Rules 16(f)
and 37(b)(2)(A) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, as
well as Rule 3.1 of the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct.
Rule 16(f) allows a court to sanction an attorney who
“(A) fails to appear at a scheduling or other pretrial
conference; (B) is substantially unprepared to participate-or
does not participate in good faith-in the conference; or (C)
fails to obey a scheduling or other pretrial order.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 16(f)(1)(A)–(C). Rule 37(b)(2)(A)
authorizes a court to impose specific sanctions on a party
for failing “to obey an order to provide or permit
discovery.” Id. 37(b)(2)(A). Lastly, Rule 3.1
of the Idaho Rules of Professional Conduct states, in
relevant part, that “[a] lawyer shall not bring or
defend a proceeding, or assert or controvert an issue
therein, unless there is a basis in law and fact for doing so
that is not frivolous, which includes a good faith argument
for an extension, modification or reversal of existing
law.” Idaho Rules of Prof’l Conduct R. 3.1
Guion claims that Stoll used threats and intimidation in an
attempt to force her to drop her claims. She states he
threatened to call the Court and tell the judge that she was
not completing discovery the way he wanted her to, was
belligerent and oppressive when she tried to discuss
discovery issues and proceeded in bad faith regarding
settlement discussions. Stoll claims that he ...