United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma
SINGER OIL COMPANY, LLC, an Oklahoma limited liability company, Plaintiff,
NEWFIELD EXPLORATION MID-CONTINENT, INC., a foreign corporation domesticated to do business in Oklahoma; and HALLIBURTON ENERGY SERVICES, INC., a foreign corporation domesticated to do business in Oklahoma, Defendants.
MLLES-LAGRANGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
the Court is defendant Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent,
Inc.'s (“Newfield”) Motion for Litigation
Sanctions against Plaintiff, Singer Oil Company, LLC, filed
December 18, 2017. On January 2, 2018, plaintiff filed its
response, and on January 9, 2018, Newfield filed its reply.
Based on the parties' submissions, the Court makes its
November 2, 2016, Newfield served its First Set of Discovery
Requests in this case on plaintiff. Interrogatory No. 10
Identify all persons whom you believe have knowledge of any
and all relevant facts pertaining to your claims and defenses
in this case, and Defendant's claims and defenses in this
case, and describe the issues of which they have knowledge.
Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent Inc.'s First Set of
Discovery Requests to Plaintiff, attached as Exhibit 1 to
Defendant, Newfield Exploration Mid-Continent Inc.'s
Motion for Litigation Sanctions Against Plaintiff, Singer Oil
Company, LLC, and Brief in Support, at 9-10. Further, Request
for Production No. 4 provides:
Produce any and all documents that you have in your
possession, custody, or control, including but not limited
to, all communications of any kind, relating to, referring
to, or in any way referencing Newfield, the Smith Well, the
Edgar Well, or the subject of this lawsuit.
Id. at 11. Additionally, Request for Production No.
Produce any and all correspondence between you and Newfield,
or between you and any other person or entity, with respect
to Newfield, the Smith Well, the Edgar Well or the subject of
Id. at 12.
November 15, 2016, plaintiff served its responses to
Newfield's discovery requests. Plaintiff represented that
it had fully and truthfully answered the interrogatories and
had produced or would produce all responsive documents to the
requests for production. After receiving plaintiff's
responses and its document production, counsel for Newfield
followed up with plaintiff's counsel, who confirmed that
all responsive documents had been produced, and plaintiff did
not claim privileged status for any unproduced documents,
whether by producing a privilege log or otherwise. Neither
plaintiff's response to Interrogatory No. 10 nor the
documents produced in response to Requests for Production
Nos. 4 and 5 were supplemented during the course of this
this case was tried to a jury in November 2017, plaintiff
filed its Amended Motion to Recover Attorney's Fees.
Newfield asserts that upon reviewing the time records
attached to plaintiff's motion for attorney's fees,
it became aware, for the first time, that throughout the
course of this litigation, plaintiff's attorney
frequently corresponded by e-mail with numerous third parties
regarding not only Newfield generally, but specifically
regarding several of the issues that were disputed in this
litigation and the two wells at issue in this case. Newfield
further asserts that at least two of the communications took
place before plaintiff served its discovery responses.
contends that under the discovery rules, plaintiff was under
an obligation to disclose the communications between its
attorney and third parties that had already taken place at
the time of its original discovery responses and to
supplement its responses when the additional communications
came into existence. Newfield, therefore, contends that the
Court is obligated to impose a sanction against plaintiff for
its violation of the discovery rules pursuant to Federal Rule
of Civil Procedure 26(g)(3) and has the discretion to impose
a sanction for the failure to supplement pursuant to Federal
Rule of Civil Procedure 26(e)(1)(A). Newfield specifically
requests the Court to sanction plaintiff by denying
plaintiff's Bill of Costs, Motion to Recover Costs, and
Amended Motion to Recover Attorney's Fees.
response, plaintiff asserts that it did not violate the
Court's orders, did not violate the spirit of the
Court's orders, and did not violate the letter or spirit
of the discovery code. Further, in its response, plaintiff
explains each time entry referenced in Newfield's motion.
Additionally, plaintiff asserts that no new documents were
produced as a result of its counsel's communications with
the third ...