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A Santa Clara, Calif., judge has slapped a Silicon Valley corporate defendant with a $40,000 sanction after plaintiff’s attorneys complained that the company was concealing thousands of documents and only came clean after its former CEO blabbed in a deposition weeks before trial. Judge Thang Nguyen Barrett ordered defendant Guide Technologies Inc. to pay $40,124 in legal fees to the lawyers of plaintiff and former employee David Glassel and to turn over thousands of pages of documents in an employment dispute. The hefty state court sanction comes just a year after GuideTech’s attorney, Daniel Pyne III, jumped from Littler Mendelson to Hopkins & Carley to jump-start the San Jose, Calif., firm’s employment law group. Plaintiff’s attorneys Douglas Scott Maynard and Moira Hogan said GuideTech and its attorneys intentionally concealed documents during discovery, only producing 83 pages. “The extent of the misrepresentations is massive and intentional. The documents were concealed to gain a litigation advantage at trial and to hide the truth from the plaintiff,” wrote Maynard, with Campbell, Calif.-based Maynard Law Offices. But Pyne said in court papers that the omissions were merely a matter of oversight and argued that plaintiff’s counsel knew of the existence of the documents but failed to properly request them. “The plaintiff’s motion amounts to little more than inflammatory and irresponsible accusations designed to deflect attention from his counsel’s lack of diligence during discovery and to obtain a continuance on his trial date,” Pyne wrote. Barrett refused to award the $150,000 Maynard initially requested, which would have covered the entire cost of the case. Maynard later scaled his request down to $76,000. Glassel, a high-tech sales guru in Arizona, was hired by GuideTech to sell newly launched hardware designed to test the machines that make computer chips — the Femto 2000 — to Silicon Valley companies. But less than two months after starting, Glassel was canned. Glassel contends in his suit that GuideTech wasn’t ready to take the product to market but hired him to tap into his sales connections. Glassel’s attorneys had subpoenaed all sales records for the Femto 2000. They also requested employment records. What Maynard got was fewer than 100 documents that included only 23 invoices. But when GuideTech’s former CEO discussed receipts, sales databases and cancelled checks, Maynard said it was clear more paperwork was out there. Pyne said he disagreed with the decision, and predicted GuideTech would prevail at trial. The trial, originally scheduled for March 22, will be rescheduled this month.

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