District and Magistrate Judges — Yes, They Talk

Lawyers often wonder whether about the extent of informal communication between District and Magistrate Judges. In Trustees of Laborers Local 310 v. Able Contracting Group, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3988 (N.D. Ohio Jan. 19, 2007), the District Judge imposed discovery sanctions decision on defense counsel and the defendant, which ignored discovery orders after a failed mediation. There is no reason to believe that the failure of the mediation had anything to do with the imposition of sanctions. Footnote 2 is still interesting: ‛While the Magistrate Judge who attempted the mediation kept the parties' confidences with respect to their respective settlement postures, the Magistrate Judge did inform the Court that [defense] counsel's attitude toward settlement and disrespect for both Plaintiffs' counsel and the mediation process itself made mediation efforts useless.“ Never assume that judicial officers don’t talk.

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