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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:A group of plaintiffs sued Hill and Griffith (H&G) for failure to warn of the dangers of silica. The plaintiffs alleged H&G sold silica to the plaintiffs’ employer. On Nov. 14, 2001, plaintiffs served H&G with interrogatories and requests for production of documents. Interrogatory #15 asked for details about any document relating to potential health hazards of silica-based products and who within the company would have possession of such a document. Request for production #4 asked for H&G’s internal memos relating to the marketing of silica-containing products to the plaintiffs’ employer. H&G responded that it objected to #15 and #4 because they were “vague, ambiguous, overly broad and burdensome and [are] an impermissible”fishing expedition’.” The parties argued over discovery until early August 2002, when plaintiffs filed a motion to compel. The trial court, which had set the case for a Sept. 30 trial, held a hearing on the motion to compel on Aug. 30. H&G’s attorney, Pamela Neale Williams, a shareholder in the law firm of Adams & Coffey, testified that H&G had fully complied with discovery. The court overruled H&G’s original objection and ordered that the documents relevant to #4 be turned over by Sept. 11 so they could be used by the plaintiffs’ attorneys in their depositions of H&G employees and executives the following week. H&G turned over copies of three warning labels. At the depositions, an H&G executive intimated that there were other interoffice documents related to the labels, but a subsequent discovery request for those documents prompted H&G to contend that it had no more responsive documents. On Sept. 30, the plaintiffs filed a motion for sanctions against H&G for failure to turn over the documents mentioned by the executive. Later that day, H&G’s attorneys delivered to the plaintiffs an interoffice memo detailing the history of the labels previously produced and the development of warning labels in response to federal regulations. On Oct. 1, the plaintiffs asked the trial court to strike H&G’s pleadings because the plaintiffs had been prejudiced by the withholding of the labeling memo. The court denied this request, but did state that it would order sanctions. Attorneys for H&G and the plaintiffs tried to settle on appropriate sanctions, but could not. Williams testified at the resumed sanctions hearing that she made a decision to withhold the document, though she said someone else was responsible for what happened at the deposition and in identifying which documents would be released at that time. After further testimony from both parties’ attorneys, the court announced that it would allow the plaintiffs to retake the deposition of the executive, as well as the author of the labeling memo, and that H&G would be required to pay the plaintiffs’ attorney’s travel expenses. The court also sanctioned Adams & Coffey by ordering that Williams perform 50 hours of community service with a legal aid program in Dallas. And, the court ordered an in camera inspection of other withheld documents, and some of these were turned over to the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs filed a second motion for sanctions on Oct. 7, which led to another trial order for more depositions and imposing more than $17,500 in costs on H&G. At trial, the jury ruled in favor of H&G, and the trial court entered a take-nothing judgment against the plaintiffs. H&G, Adams & Coffey and Williams appeal the sanctions orders. HOLDING:Affirmed. The court rejects H&G’s first argument that its attorneys had a good-faith basis for denying access to the labeling memo because it had nothing to do with marketing. The trial court explicitly told H&G that it was to turn over documentation relating to the potential health hazards of silica prior to the mid-September depositions. The judge also indicated that he took an expansive view of discovery. “The purpose of warning labels is to inform a consumer about the dangers of using the product. Thus, a warning label plays a role in the marketing of the product. The Labeling Memo in this case described the thought processes of H&G in placing warning labels on their products. H&G and its attorneys of record withheld the Labeling Memo, but produced the warning labels attached to the memo. These two acts are inconsistent. The labels and the Labeling Memo relate to the same subject matter. Therefore, producing the labels but withholding the memo cannot be taken as an act of good faith by H&G and its attorneys of record.” The court also rejects H&G’s attempt to shift blame for the document’s withholding to Adams & Coffey and Williams. A party need not be punished for conduct that does not implicate the party, but a party cannot escape responsibility for its counsel’s abuses in which it had a hand. In this case, there is evidence that H&G was active in keeping the labeling memo hidden until after the court’s hearing on the motion to compel. Furthermore, H&G’s attorney from another firm who participated in the deposition and knew about the reference to the labeling memo can be attributed to H&G. The court further finds that the sanction fit the conduct and was no more severe than necessary. The trial court did not strike H&G’s pleadings, though it was asked to do so. And the trial court continually scaled back some of the requests for costs the plaintiffs made. The second motion for sanctions was properly granted, too, for much of the same reasoning as above. As for the sanction of community service imposed on Williams, the court rules that it was appropriate in light of the fact that Williams admitted that she deliberately withheld the labeling memo. “We believe that this community service will persuade Williams, Adams & Coffey, and other attorneys to be careful not to take actions that are contrary to the liberal spirit with which they are to view all discovery requests.” OPINION:Worthen, C.J.; Worthen, C.J., Griffith and DeVasto, JJ.

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