Trials & Litigation

More than $2M in sanctions sought against Gibson Dunn and Facebook

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Plaintiffs are seeking more than $2 million in sanctions against Facebook and its lawyers at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher after a federal judge said they engaged in “dilatory discovery conduct.”

U.S. District Judge Vince Chhabria of the Northern District of California previously said a settlement in the privacy class action shouldn’t derail sanctions and invited briefing on the matter.

In a brief filed Nov. 18, the plaintiffs said they are seeking about $2.05 million for time and fees spent as a result of alleged discovery misconduct, report Law360 and

The plaintiffs are seeking about $694,000 to cover legal fees for seeking sanctions, about $1.09 million to cover fees for responding to discovery misconduct, and nearly $265,000 for costs associated with both efforts.

Chhabria commented on discovery delays in a Sept. 15 hearing. He said Facebook and Gibson Dunn would “pounce” on “any little ambiguity” as “part of their effort to obstruct and delay and resist the production of obviously responsive materials.”

Chhabria also said at the hearing the conduct of a Gibson Dunn lawyer and a Facebook witness was “abominable” in two recorded depositions that he watched. The witness wouldn’t answer basic questions, and the BigLaw lawyer repeatedly advised her not to answer, he said.

Facebook and Gibson Dunn, however, have argued that they didn’t do anything to warrant sanctions, and the plaintiffs were making “unreasonable and incessant” demands for documents.

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