United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
A. JACKSON, Judge
RULING AND ORDER
B. WHITEHURST, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
before the undersigned are three motions filed by the pro
se plaintiff, Steven Duplechain, III: (1) Motion for
Sanctions Against Law Office of L. Clayton Burgess [Doc.
161]; (2) Motion for Sanctions Against William
H. Parker, III of Allen & Gooch [Doc. 162]; and (3)
Motion for Reconsideration of the undersigned's Ruling on
Motion to Compel [Doc. 163]. For the following reasons, all of
the motions are DENIED.
for Sanctions Against law Office of L. Clayton Burgess [Doc.
motion for sanctions against Mr. Burgess, the plaintiff
argues, in essence, that Mr. Burgess did not provide him with
a complete copy of his case file upon withdrawing as his
counsel in the case. The documentation provided by the
plaintiff, however, shows that Mr. Burgess emailed to the
plaintiff a file share link, which contained a copy of the
plaintiff's case file. After the plaintiff complained
that he was having trouble downloading the file, Mr.
Burgess's office immediately downloaded the case file to
a computer disc, and made that disc available to the
plaintiff. The plaintiff now complains that the disc does not
contain several “email chains” that the plaintiff
already has in his possession, and therefore, that the case
file provided by Mr. Burgess is not complete.
1.16(d) of the Louisiana Rules of Professional Conduct
requires the following:
(d) Upon termination of representation, a lawyer shall take
steps to the extent reasonably practicable to protect a
client's interests, such as giving reasonable notice to
the client, allowing time for employment of other counsel,
surrendering papers and property to which the client is
entitled and refunding any advance payment of fee or expense
that has not been earned or incurred. Upon
written request by the client, the lawyer shall promptly
release to the client or the client's new lawyer the
entire file relating to the matter. The lawyer may retain a
copy of the file but shall not condition release over issues
relating to the expense of copying the file or for any other
reason. The responsibility for the cost of
copying shall be determined in an appropriate proceeding.
La St. Bar. Art. 16, R.P.C. Rule 1.16(d) (emphasis added).
it appears that Mr. Burgess made the plaintiff's file
available to the plaintiff in two different ways: first, by
emailing a file share link to the file, and second, by
burning the contents of the file onto a computer disc at Mr.
Burgess's expense and making that disc immediately
available to the plaintiff. Under these circumstances, the
undersigned finds Mr. Burgess complied with his duties under
the Rules of Professional Conduct to provide the plaintiff
with a copy of his case file. Regarding the plaintiff's
argument that certain emails are missing from the file, it
appears the “missing” emails are already in the
possession of the plaintiff, and any suggestion that the
plaintiff is entitled to sanctions for his former
counsel's failure to produce that which the plaintiff
already has is misplaced.
the foregoing, the plaintiff's Motion for Sanctions
against Mr. Burgess and his law office is
Motion for Reconsideration of the Undersigned's
Ruling on Motion to Compel [Doc.
plaintiff filed an “Objection” to this
Court's Ruling on his Motion to Compel [Doc. 159], which
the undersigned granted in part and denied in part on
February 15, 2019 [Doc. 159]. The plaintiff brings the motion
under Rule 46 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, which
A formal exception to a ruling or order is unnecessary. When
the ruling or order is requested or made, a party need only
state the action that it wants the court to take or objects
to, along with the grounds for the request or objection.
Failing to object does not prejudice a ...