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Counsel's Misconduct Can't Excuse When Contractor's Own Misconduct Is Sufficiently To Blame

Sunday, May 04, 2008 02:48 pm

Counsel's Misconduct Can't Excuse When Contractor's Own Misconduct Is Sufficiently To Blame

A pattern of sloppy and dilatory behavior with respect to claims litigation proceedings came back to bite a contractor who tried to pin blame for its own tardiness on its attorney.

The dispute arose during renovation of a Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) building in California. The VA and the contractor, West Bay Builders, Inc. (WBB), agreed to resolve their argument over concrete moisture-sealant specifications via summary judgment motions. The parties jointly notified the court in June 2007 that discovery -- which included a series of VA-initiated requests for admissions -- was complete.

However, WBB had failed to respond within the requisite 30 days to two of the requests to admit to facts in the case, which the status report noted. As a result, those facts were deemed admitted. In January 2008, WBB filed to have the two admissions withdrawn. The cont [...]

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