Case On Point
Freeman v. Giuliani
(U.S.D.C. for the District of Columbia 2023 )
Two Georgia election workers sued Rudolph Giuliani and two of his companies, asserting defamation and other claims arising from defendants' false assertion that plaintiffs mishandled ballots in the 2020 Presidential election. Plaintiffs filed discovery requests, seeking electronic and hard copy documents, and also to take defendants' depositions. Giuliani and his companies failed to retain and produce the requested documents, and the companies failed to designate a representative to be deposed. Plaintiffs moved for sanctions, including the grant of summary judgment on their defamation claims, and attorneys fees. Although courts are relucant to deny litigants their day in court, the court granted the motion, observing as follows:
Given the willful shirking of his discovery obligations in anticipation of and
during this litigation, Giuliani leaves little other choice. . . . Default judgment will be entered against Giuliani as a discovery sanction . . . , holding him civilly liable on plaintiffs defamation, intentional infliction of emotional distress, civil conspiracy, and punitive damage claims, and Giuliani is directed to reimburse plaintiffs for attorneys’ fees and costs associated with their instant motion.