Intellectual Property Development (“IDP”) brought suit against a number of lumber companies, which case was removed to federal court in 2019. The defendants asserted counterclaims for a declaration of non-infringement of patents owned by IPD and/or its CEO, Glen Robell, as well as asserting state law claims against both. Counsel for IDP and Robell subsequently withdrew from representation, leading to IDP’s claims being dismissed when no new counsel could be found. Robell, who as an individual could appear pro se, remained in the case, although his patent infringement and conversion claims were previously dismissed.
From that point on, Robell failed to meaningfully participate in the litigation. He refused to confer with the defendants on a proposed schedule, and failed to attend a hearing on a motion to compel. When he subsequently missed the deadline to serve the answers to discovery that the Court had ordered and failed to attend a noticed deposition, Robell moved to have the case dismissed. Magistrate Judge Boal recommended dismissal of Robell’s remaining claims, which Judge Gorton has not yet ruled on. The claims against Robell remained, and Judge Boal ordered Robell to provide responses to discovery by December 17th. Robell did serve responses, but defendant National Lumber filed another motion to compel, asserting the responses to be deficient. After Robell again missed the hearing on this new motion, Judge Boal has now recommended that default judgment be entered against Robell as a discovery sanction pursuant to F.R.C.P. 37(b).