A federal judge in Orlando, frustrated by lawyers’ inability to resolve discovery matters, has ordered them to engage in what he called “a new form of alternative dispute resolution,” a game of rock, paper, scissors. The order, issued yesterday by U.S. District Judge Gregory Presnell, directs the parties to meet for the game June 30 at a neutral location or, if they cannot agree on one, on the courthouse steps. A Tampa Tribune report said that David Pettinato of Tampa, the lead attorney for the plaintiff, “seemed a bit embarrassed by the order,” but intends to bone up on the game’s rules.
Following is the text of the order:
AVISTA MANAGEMENT, INC., d/b/a Avista Plex, Inc.,
WAUSAU UNDERWRITERS INSURANCE COMPANY,
This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff’s Motion to designate location of a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition (Doc. 105). Upon consideration of the Motion – the latest in a series of Gordian knots that the parties have been unable to untangle without enlisting the assistance of the federal courts – it is
ORDERED that said Motion is DENIED. Instead, the Court will fashion a new form of alternative dispute resolution, to wit: at 4:00 P.M. on Friday, June 30, 2006, counsel shall convene at a neutral site agreeable to both parties. If counsel cannot agree on a neutral site, they shall meet on the front steps of the Sam M. Gibbons U.S. Courthouse, 801 North Florida Ave., Tampa, Florida 33602. Each lawyer shall be entitled to be accompanied by one paralegal who shall act as an attendant and witness. At that time and location, counsel shall engage in one (1) game of “rock, paper, scissors.” The winner of this engagement shall be entitled to select the location for the 30(b)(6) deposition to be held somewhere in Hillsborough County during the period July 11-12, 2006. If either party disputes the outcome of this engagement, an appeal may be filed and a hearing will be held at 8:30 A.M. on Friday, July 7, 2006 before the undersigned in Courtroom 3, George C. Young United States Courthouse and Federal Building, 80 North Hughey Avenue, Orlando, Florida 32801.
DONE and ORDERED in Chambers, Orlando, Florida on June 6, 2006.