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Clark v. W&M Kraft

June 16, 2006

CHARLES CLARK, ET AL., PLAINTIFFS
v.
W&M KRAFT, INC., ET AL., DEFENDANTS



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hogan, M.J.

SPIEGEL, J.

ORDER

The Court conducted an informal discovery conference by telephone this day. The Court would characterize this dispute as in the "My dad can beat up your dad" variety. Plaintiff has noticed the deposition(s) of various employees of Defendants and wishes to take those depositions in his downtown Cincinnati office. Defense counsel, located in fashionable Symmes Township, a pleasant 20-mile drive to the north, wishes to remain in his uncluttered and stress-free environment and to have his witnesses deposed at a location familiar to them. As a perk, he offers free parking to all concerned. Thus the Court was called upon to resolve this pivotal dispute through the use of judicial power.

This is a maritime case in which co-counsel for Plaintiff and counsel for at least two of the Defendants have a track record and years of experience in dealing with one another. Thus they have adopted an informal course of dealing which is somewhat at variance with the customary rules of practice. Now additional counsel for Plaintiff has entered the fray and he is unwilling to be governed by the informal arrangement and insists that the deposition of an adverse witness be taken in his office and at his convenience.

The Court finds that where the parties are unable to agree, the deposition should occur in accordance with established standards. Thus, the deposition(s) of Defendants' witnesses should occur in the posh offices of Plaintiff's counsel in the Fourth and Walnut Center. An additional reason is that this is a rather involved case with many witnesses, interested parties and lawyers who may find it more convenient to do business at a downtown site.

The Court, perceptive as he is, senses that underlying this dispute is the rather frustrating practice of noticing depositions. While certainly permitted by the Rules, the practice should be avoided in favor of a simple agreement that would enable all of us to play peacefully in the sandbox. This Court expects no less. Peace be with you all!

Timothy S. Hogan United States Magistrate Judge

20060616

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