Wednesday, April 23, 2008

On ex parte contact with ex-employees

I read the opinion by Judge Kiser in Bryant v. Yorktowne Cabinetry, granting summary judgment in a Title VII case.

The opinion referenced an earlier decision by Magistrate Judge Urbanski that I missed. In this earlier Bryant v. Yorktowne Cabinetry, Judge Urbanski denied the defendant's motion for an order prohibiting ex parte contact between the plaintiff and the defendant's former employees, distinguishing the earlier decision by Judge Sargent in Armsey v. Medshares Management Services, Inc., 184 F.R.D. 569 (W.D. Va. 1998), based on the plaintiff's representation that "that she does not intend to impute liability on [the corporate defendant] through the statements, actions or omissions of [the former H.R. person] or other former employees, but was simply seeking to discover the facts of the case, including the identities of persons involved." In Armsey, the purpose of the ex parte communications was to obtain facts from them that would be binding on the defendant for purposes of establishing liability.


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