On July 20, 2009, ALJ Theodore R. Essex issued the public version of a Recommended Determination (“RD”) that the International Trade Commission grant Complainant Magotteaux International S/A and Magotteaux, Inc. (collectively “Magotteaux”) attorney’s fees incurred in responding to the Commission Investigative Staff’s (“Staff”) Motion for Initial Determination finding Respondents AIA Engineering Limited and Vega Industries (collectively “Respondents”) in Default and in preparing Magotteaux’s own Motion for Default and Adverse Inferences in Certain Composite Wear Components and Products Containing Same (Inv. No. 337-TA-644).

As indicated in our July 8 post, ALJ Essex issued an Initial Determination (“ID”) on May 8, 2009 finding Respondents in default under Commission Rule 210.16(a)(2) based on failure to participate in discovery, that Respondents’ conduct in the investigation warranted adverse inferences under Commission Rule 210.17, and that Respondents were in violation of Section 337 on that basis.  On July 7, 2009, the Commission issued a notice determining not to review the ID, and requesting written submissions regarding the form of remedy, if any, that should be ordered.

According to the RD, ALJ Essex found that only those attorney’s fees associated with activities “caused by” Respondents’ failure to comply with Order No. 23 requiring Respondents to respond to written discovery and to produce fact and expert witnesses for deposition were recoverable as sanctions.  As such, the ALJ recommended granting Magotteaux’s motion with respect to fees incurred in preparing and filing its motion for default and adverse inferences, and its response to the Staff’s motion for default.  The ALJ found that Magotteaux failed to show how attorney’s fees related to its first motion for default, costs related to discovery, and costs related to pre-hearing preparation and submissions were caused by Respondents’ failure to comply with Order No. 23.  The ALJ further found that Respondents failed to justify their failure to comply with the order or demonstrate that the granting of attorney’s fees to Magotteaux is unjust.