U.S. Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit
Civil Procedure – Discovery sanctions
Under Rule 26(g)(3), an award of sanctions is mandatory for a discovery violation.
“Rule 26(g)(3) is a different matter. Judge Durkin believed that it, like §1927, affords a district court the discretion to let a delict pass without sanctions. It does not. Lawyers must certify that they have fulfilled their discovery obligations. Rule 26(g)(3) provides (emphasis added): ‘If a certification violates this rule without substantial justification, the court, on motion or on its own, must impose an appropriate sanction on the signer, the party on whose behalf the signer was acting, or both. The sanction may include an order to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, caused by the violation.’ Rule 26(g)(3) gives the judge discretion over the nature of the sanction but not whether to impose one. Kurtz has not contested Judge Durkin’s conclusion that her conduct violates Rule 26(g)(1), so some sanction is mandatory.”
Affirmed in part, and Vacated in part.
14-1446 Rojas v. Town of Cicero
Appeal from the United States District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Durkin, J., Easterbrook, J.