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Velez v. Awning Windows, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
375 F.3d 35 (1st Cir. 2004)


Facts

Velez (plaintiff) brought an employment discrimination lawsuit against Awning Windows, Inc. (AWI) (defendant). Throughout the pre-trial phase of the proceeding, AWI repeatedly filed for extensions, missed court-imposed deadlines, and “dragged their feet from the very inception of the action.” Specifically, after Velez filed a motion for summary judgment, AWI missed its deadline for filing an opposition, got another deadline from the district court, and instead of filing its opposition on the new deadline, filed a motion for another extension. The motion merely provided reasons why the extension should be granted and otherwise did not contain the elements of a proper motion under Rule 56(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The district court, after being fairly lenient with AWI throughout the proceeding, disregarded AWI’s late opposition to the motion for summary judgment and took Velez’s statements of facts in the motion as true. In addition, after AWI also failed to respond to the district court’s request for a legal memorandum on a hearsay issue, the court precluded the testimony as a sanction for the failure to respond. AWI appealed.

Rule of Law

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Holding and Reasoning (Selya, J.)

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