CIVIL PROCEDURE – Sanctions (excluding witnesses) for missing court ordered deadline: LeBlanc v. Dorten (COA 9/18/2009)

LeBlanc v. Dorten
2008-CA-001574 9/18/09 2009 WL 2971760 DR pending
Opinion by Judge Lambert; Judge Acree and Senior Judge Harris concurred.

The Court affirmed a jury verdict in appellee’s favor on appellant’s claims related to a motor vehicle accident. The Court first held that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding witnesses and evidence submitted after a court-ordered deadline. The court’s decision was directly related to appellant’s failure to comply with the discovery deadlines and thus, the sanction clearly bore a direct relationship to the defect and was not unreasonable or capricious. Further, CR 37.02(2)(b) supported the court’s sanction. The Court distinguished cases that did not involve the violation of a court order. The Court also held that appellant’s answer to interrogatories was an insufficient disclosure of his witnesses. The Court next held that the trial court did not err in denying rebuttal evidence. Appellee presented no evidence at trial and therefore, there was nothing to rebut. The Court finally held that the trial court did not err in denying appellant’s motion for a new trial. Appellant’s avowal testimony, taken without an oath in the presence of a judge, was not uncontradicted evidence of perjury.