This blog previously discussed the Court’s rulings on discovery disputes in Earthcam, Inc. v. Oxblue Corporation, No. 1:11-CV-2278-WSD, 2013 WL 1693959 (N.D. Ga. April 17, 2013), a lawsuit involving competitors in the camera technology industry (click here). This blog entry addresses another ruling by the Court.
One of Earthcam’s claims against Oxblue was for violation of the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (“CFAA”). Oxblue filed a motion for sanctions with respect to this claim, arguing that in discovery Earthcam had failed to produce any proof of damages with respect to its CFAA claim. Oxblue argued that Earthcam’s CFAA claim should be stricken based on its failure to provide such proof.
The Court rejected this argument, finding that even if Earthcam had failed to sufficiently respond to discovery regarding its CFAA claim, the appropriate remedy is to preclude Earthcam from relying on any evidence that was requested in discovery but which was not disclosed. The Court thus denied Oxblue’s motion for sanctions.
In my experience, for better or for worse, there are an increasing number of cases in which attorneys try to use Rule 11 as an alternative to summary judgment. The above ruling shows that in many instances, Rule 11 is not the proper vehicle to obtain dismissal of a claim that discovery has revealed there is no evidence supporting one or more of the elements of the claim. Instead, summary judgment is the appropriate vehicle. (But click here for a discussion about a case where a court struck a frivolous claim for misappropriation of trade secrets as a Rule 11 sanction).
Stay tuned for more blog entries regarding other rulings in Earthcam, Inc., including another attempt to obtain sanctions.