By Eric Schweibenz
On September 14, 2011, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued Order No. 10 in Certain Protective Cases and Components Thereof  (Inv. No. 337-TA-780).

In the Order, ALJ Bullock granted a motion filed by Complainant Otter Products, LLC (“Otter”) to compel Respondent Cellairis Franchise, Inc. (“Cellairis”) to respond to certain discovery requests.  In support of its motion, Otter argued that Cellairis undermined its efforts to obtain relevant discovery necessary to prove its case.  Specifically, Otter noted that it served discovery requests on Cellairis on July 6, 2011, but Cellairis neither provided responses to the requests nor participated in conference calls with counsel for Otter or the ALJ regarding such discovery requests.  Otter further argued that with the exception of filing a response to the Complaint and participating in the first discovery committee meeting on July 27, 2011, Cellairis has failed to participate in the investigation.  In this respect, Cellairis did not respond to the instant motion to compel. 

According to the Order, ALJ Bullock determined that “blatant disregard for the procedural rules and Orders of the ALJ will not be tolerated.”  Further, ALJ Bullock found the requested discovery to be relevant to the subject matter of the investigation and within the scope of permissible discovery.  Lastly, because Cellairis failed to respond to Otter’s motion, Cellairis waived its right to object to the requested discovery.  Accordingly, ALJ Bullock ordered Cellairis to respond to Otter’s discovery requests within five days of the date or the order.  ALJ Bullock also “caution[ed] Cellairis (and its counsel) that failure to make or cooperate in discovery in this investigation may result in sanctions pursuant to 19 C.F.R. § 210.33, including, but not limited to a finding that Cellairis is in default.”