PACER Surfing Thursday — Sorry About That, Chief!



Dear Judge Graham and Magistrate Judge Torres:

It is with some regret that I must write you both in relation to the docket in Appel v. Liberty American Insurance Company.

Perhaps I am reading it wrong, but there appears to be some kind of misunderstanding.There are some very capable counsel in this case, I just want to reiterate that point.

I also attempted to understand what the case is about, and carefully reviewed Judge Graham’s Order denying the defendants’ motion to dismiss the complaint and motion to dismiss for lack of standing.

All I know is there are a lot of acronyms in the case, as evidenced by this language on page 16 of the Order:

With respect to reporting, Mr. Leftwich, the former VP of Claims for LAIS, testified that he reported to Dan Eldridge, President of LAIG, LAIS, LASIC and LAIC, and peripherally to Mr. Benake, the VP of Claims for PCHC.

Aha — the old LAIG, LAIS, LASIC, LAIC, PCHC trick!The defendants then took an interlocutory appeal of the order denying dismissal(!), and moved to stay the case and for a protective order to stay discovery while the appeal is pending.”Fastest Mag in the SD FL” Judge Torres denied the motion for protective order without waiting for a response from the plaintiffs:

Upon review of the motion, no response is necessary for the disposition of the motion. Defendants seek a protective order from having to respond to any discovery requests while their motion to stay is pending with the District Court related to an interlocutory appeal of the Court’s denial of a motion to dismiss. Without taking any position on the pending motion to stay that is currently briefed and before the District Judge, this Court’s review of this motion for protective order shows that no good cause exists under Rule 26 to preclude Plaintiffs from pursuing discovery they would be entitled to in accordance with the District Judge’s Order denying the motion to dismiss. Defendants’ compliance with that discovery would not undermine their appeal, would not cause irreparable harm, and would not cause such injury that a protective order would be necessary. Thus, for discovery purposes, the relief requested in this motion is unwarranted. The denial of this motion, of course, does not resolve the pending motion to stay the litigation pending appeal, which if granted would then indeed allow Defendants to refrain from responding to discovery while such a stay were in place. For now, Defendants are ordered to comply with all pending obligations under Rule 26.

In other words — missed it by that much!