Goodyear Tire v. Haeger Page 14

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Audio Transcription for Oral Argument - January 10, 2017 in Goodyear Tire v. Haeger

Stephen G. Breyer:

It sounds like a causation standard.

Pierre H. Bergeron:

But, Justice Breyer, we disagree that it is a causation standard.

In fact, for a lot of the reasons the Chief Justice raised earlier. I mean, there is so many issues that go into whether or not you have a settlement and just because there was -- the district court believed that they may have settled earlier, but, again, the court didn't say when we would have settled earlier and --

Stephen G. Breyer:

You make that an issue below?

Pierre H. Bergeron:

Yes, we did.

I mean -- and obviously Judge Watford agreed with us in the Ninth Circuit because we made that point -- made that point there, as well. One of the other things I want to emphasize is that the -- part of the reason we need a meaningful causation test is to bring this in line with -- the inherent authority in line with the other sanction regimes so that courts cannot basically avoid the requirements of the other statutory and rule-based sanction regimes by a liberalization of the causation requirement under inherent authority. A good example of this is Rule 37.

Rule 37 governs production of documents and the failure to produce documents.

That could have been something the district court relied on here, and there is a causation requirement.

So the district court should not be able to avoid Rule 37, go to inherent authority and get a broader sanctioning power. So for all those reasons, Your Honors, we respectfully request reversal.

John G. Roberts, Jr.:

Thank you, counsel. The case is submitted.