Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Scott v. Vantage Corp.

United States District Court, D. Delaware

June 24, 2019

TARA SCOTT and WILSON CARTER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS TRUSTEE OF THE BAILEY MIDDLETON CARTER 2009 TRUST, THE MARY WILSON CARTER 2009 TRUST, and THE WILSON M. CARTER 1988 TRUST, Plaintiffs,
v.
VANTAGE CORPORATION, VANTAGE ADVISORY MANAGEMENT, LLC, VF X LP, TRADELOGIX, LLC, BRIAN ASKEW, and GERALD FINEGOLD, Defendants. VANTAGE CORPORATION, BRIAN ASKEW, and GERALD FINEGOLD, Counterclaim Plaintiffs,
v.
TARA SCOTT and WILSON CARTER, INDIVIDUALLY AND AS TRUSTEE OF THE BAILEY MIDDLETON CARTER 2009 TRUST, THE MARY WILSON CARTER 2009 TRUST, and THE WILSON M. CARTER 1988 TRUST, Counterclaim Defendants.

          MEMORANDUM ORDER

          Mary Pat Thynge Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge.

         The case at bar concerns a securities action filed on April 20, 2017, by Tara Scott ("Scott"), in her individual capacity, and Wilson Carter ("Carter"), in his individual capacity and as Trustee of the Bailey Middleton Carter 2009 Trust, the Mary Wilson Carter 2009 Trust, and the Wilson M. Carter 1988 Trust (collectively, the "Trusts") (collectively, with Scott and Carter, "plaintiffs").[1] Presently before the court is Plaintiffs' Motion for Sanctions Relating to the Depositions of Gerald Finegold (the “Sanctions Motion”).[2] For the reasons discussed below, the court grants plaintiffs' motion in part.

         Plaintiffs move for sanctions, including the fees and expenses incurred in conducting the depositions of Gerald Finegold taken on October 25, 2018 (the “First Finegold Deposition”) and on February 1, 2019 (the “Second Finegold Deposition”). Plaintiffs seek relief pursuant to this Court's Order of November 21, 2018[3] and Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 30(d)(2) and 37.[4]

         Plaintiffs conducted the First Finegold Deposition on October 25, 2108.[5] On November 15, 2018, plaintiffs sent a letter to the court describing Finegold's evasive and dissembling testimony, including over thirty pages of deposition testimony refusing to provide his understanding of the term “accredited investor, ” and seeking attorneys' fees and sanctions for his improper conduct.[6] During the November 21, 2018 discovery dispute teleconference, the court noted it reviewed the First Finegold Deposition transcript and expressed dismay that despite Finegold's experience in the financial industry he testified to a lack of knowledge of such common concepts as “income” and “accredited investors.”[7] The court flatly warned:

[F]or [Finegold's] next deposition if I see this same type of colloquy going on from a man who apparently was in this type of industry that he should have had some understanding, at least what he understood an accredited investor was or what the heck income meant on forms that he was signing or were used in his corporation or used in his position, I will sanction him. I don't want this to continue is what I'm saying.[8]

         The court's prior admonitions apparently went unheeded during the Second Finegold Deposition taken on February 1, 2019. Plaintiffs report Finegold's “continued evasiveness, refusal to respond to questions, and practice of answering questions with rote, memorized responses followed up with his refusal to answer, ” and that he proceeded to obfuscate and delay the deposition by repeatedly asking the court reporter to read back, sometimes multiple times, over sixty questions before providing deficient responses.[9]

         Then, after summary judgment motions were filed, Finegold submitted an untimely errata sheet “clarifying” his testimony from page 106 lines 17-18 of the First Finegold Deposition by replacing his answer “I don't know that I had an understanding between January 1 in 2016 and December 31 of 2016” in response to the question “[i]n 2016, between January 1, 2016 and December 31, 2016, what was your understanding of the income requirements in order to be considered an accredited investor," with:

In 2016, my then knowledge of accredited status as it pertains to the income requirement was that an investor was required to earn 200, 000 of income as an individual and 300, 000 of income if the investor was as joint owner like husband and wife and these requirements were for the 2 previous years prior to the investment. My current knowledge of accredit status is the same. I currently have no different view of what the income requirements were in 2016.[10]

         Defendants response to the Sanctions Motion is the an understated acknowledgment that “[t]here is no denying that the Finegold Deposition was not ideal.”[11] Rather than dispute the gist of plaintiffs' arguments, they blame plaintiffs' experienced counsel for sabotaging the deposition by asking repetitive, unnecessary, and confusing lines of questions to an inexperienced deponent.[12]

         Presumably leading with the best support for their opposition, defendants call out the following questions as examples of “endless repetition of already answered questions[.]”[13]

Q. Next line item says cost staff NRC. What does that mean?
A. I don't know.
Q. You have no idea what NRC means?
MS. TANNER: Objection to the form of the question.
A. I don't-I didn't produce this document. I don't-it was produced a long time ago or video if it was a video, and I don't know what was meant by that.[14]

         Contrary to defendants' assertion that counsel had established and confirmed Mr. Finegold's lack of knowledge of the meaning of NRC, ”[15] when plaintiffs' counsel attempted to determine Finegold's understanding of the term, he answered with reference to not creating the document himself.

         Plaintiffs' counsel then attempted to refocus Finegold on the meaning of the term “NRC, ” not who produced the document in which the term was used.

Q. Sitting here today you have no idea what the term "NRC" refers to?
MS. TANNER: Objection to the form of the question.
A. I would be speculating.
Q. Tell me your best understanding. Have you ever heard that term before, NRC?
A. I would be speculating.
Q. Not asking you to speculate, sir. I'm just asking have you ever heard the term NRC used before?
A. I don't recall in the normal course of my life someone saying to me NRC and having any specific meaning.
Q. So sitting here today in your capacity as the former president of Vantage Corporation, you have no idea what the ...

Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.