This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/08/2021 at 03:30:04 (UTC).

HARDER LLP VS LUCAS JARACH, ET AL.

Case Summary

On 06/13/2019 HARDER LLP filed a Contract - Other Contract lawsuit against LUCAS JARACH. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Spring Street Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is JAMES E. BLANCARTE. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    *******5686

  • Filing Date:

    06/13/2019

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Judge

JAMES E. BLANCARTE

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

HARDER LLP

Defendants

RIOS OSVALDO

JARACH LUCAS

VEINBERG NICOLAS

RIVERSIDE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

SUSMAN JORDAN DAVID

SUSMAN JORDAN

Defendant Attorney

FLYNN FRANCIS

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment/Dismissal)

9/22/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Order to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment/Dismissal)

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continuance

9/22/2021: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Continuance

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

9/22/2021: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses) of 05/04/2021

5/4/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses) of 05/04/2021

Opposition (name extension) - Opposition DEFENDANT VEINBERGS MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND

2/25/2021: Opposition (name extension) - Opposition DEFENDANT VEINBERGS MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES IN OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANTS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE AND

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses)

3/4/2021: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses)

Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses) of 03/04/2021

3/4/2021: Certificate of Mailing for - Certificate of Mailing for (Hearing on Motion to Compel Further Discovery Responses) of 03/04/2021

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

11/25/2020: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort - Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort

12/1/2020: Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort - Notice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort

Notice (name extension) - Notice of Withdrawal of Motion to Strike

8/27/2020: Notice (name extension) - Notice of Withdrawal of Motion to Strike

Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer)

9/1/2020: Minute Order - Minute Order (Hearing on Motion to Strike (not anti-SLAPP) - without Demurrer)

Answer - Answer

4/20/2020: Answer - Answer

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

11/6/2019: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

11/6/2019: Request for Entry of Default / Judgment - Request for Entry of Default / Judgment

Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

10/22/2019: Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment - Notice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment

Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

10/11/2019: Proof of Service by Mail - Proof of Service by Mail

Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

7/11/2019: Request for Dismissal - Request for Dismissal

Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

6/13/2019: Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case - Notice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case

38 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/16/2022
  • Hearing06/16/2022 at 10:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service

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  • 12/01/2021
  • Hearing12/01/2021 at 09:30 AM in Department 25 at 312 North Spring Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Order to Show Cause Re: (name extension)

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  • 09/30/2021
  • DocketMemorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/24/2021
  • DocketNotice of Rejection - Application for Default Judgment by Court - Contract or Tort; Filed by:

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  • 09/24/2021
  • DocketJudgment - Rejected; Submitted by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff); As to: OSVALDO RIOS (Defendant); RIVERSIDE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 09/23/2021
  • DocketNotice of Rejection Default/Clerk's Judgment; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Entry of Default Judgment/Dismissal scheduled for 12/01/2021 at 09:30 AM in Spring Street Courthouse at Department 25

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketNotice of Continuance; Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketRequest for Entry of Default / Judgment; Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff); As to: OSVALDO RIOS (Defendant); RIVERSIDE ENTERTAINMENT GROUP, LLC (Defendant)

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  • 09/22/2021
  • DocketStipulation - No Order to Dismiss and Retain JDX; Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff)

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63 More Docket Entries
  • 07/12/2019
  • DocketERROR with ROA message definition 129 with DismissalParty:1678561 resulted in empty message

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  • 07/11/2019
  • DocketRequest for Dismissal; Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff); As to: LUCAS JARACH (Defendant); NICOLAS VEINBERG (Defendant); OSVALDO RIOS (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/17/2019
  • DocketNon-Jury Trial scheduled for 12/10/2020 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 06/17/2019
  • DocketOrder to Show Cause Re: Failure to File Proof of Service scheduled for 06/16/2022 at 08:30 AM in Stanley Mosk Courthouse at Department 94

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  • 06/17/2019
  • DocketCase assigned to Hon. James E. Blancarte in Department 94 Stanley Mosk Courthouse

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff); As to: LUCAS JARACH (Defendant); NICOLAS VEINBERG (Defendant); OSVALDO RIOS (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketSummons on Complaint; Issued and Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff); As to: LUCAS JARACH (Defendant); NICOLAS VEINBERG (Defendant); OSVALDO RIOS (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet; Filed by: HARDER LLP (Plaintiff); As to: LUCAS JARACH (Defendant); NICOLAS VEINBERG (Defendant); OSVALDO RIOS (Defendant) et al.

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketNotice of Case Assignment - Limited Civil Case; Filed by: Clerk

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  • 06/13/2019
  • DocketFirst Amended Standing Order; Filed by: Clerk

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: 19STLC05686    Hearing Date: May 4, 2021    Dept: 25

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING DEFENDANT VEINBERG TO PROVIDE FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Harder LLP

RESP. PARTY: Defendant Nicolas Veinberg

MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2030.300)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Harder LLP’s Motion for an Order Compelling Defendant Veinberg to Provide Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, is GRANTED. Defendant Nicolas Veinberg is ordered to serve verified supplemental responses to Form Interrogatory Nos. 17.1, 50.1, 50.3, 50.4, 50.5, and 50.6 as ordered herein within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED. Sanctions of $2,560.00 are issued against Defendant Veinberg and his counsel Francis J. “Casey” Flynn, jointly and severally, and are to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: Filed on February 25, 2021 [X] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on March 1, 2021 [X] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

I. Background

On June 13, 2019, Plaintiff Harder LLP (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract, quantum meruit, and account stated against Defendants Lucas Jarach (“Jarach”), Nicolas Veinberg (“Veinberg”), and Riverside Entertainment Group, LLC (“Riverside Entertainment”). Defendant Veinberg filed an Answer on April 20, 2020 and an Amended Answer on August 24, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for an Order Compelling Defendant Nicolas Veinberg to Provide Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and for Monetary Sanctions (the “Motion”) on August 26, 2020. Defendant Veinberg filed a late Opposition on February 25, and Plaintiff filed a late Reply on March 1.

At the initial March 4 hearing, the Court found that although Defendant Veinberg submitted copies of supplemental discovery responses dated February 22, 2021, they contained no verifications. (3/4/21 Minute Order.) The matter was continued and Defendant Veinberg was given an opportunity to file a copy of said verifications. (Id.)

On April 12, Defendant Veinberg filed a copy of the verifications for the February 22, 2021 supplemental responses. (4/12/21 Notice of Compliance.) The verifications are dated February 22, 2021. (Id.)

No further papers have been filed.

II. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.300 provides that “[o]n receipt of a response to interrogatories, the propounding party may move for an order compelling a further response if the propounding party deems that . . .”[a]n answer to a particular interrogatory is evasive or incomplete.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (a).)

Notice of the motions must be given within 45 days of service of the verified response, otherwise, the propounding party waives any right to compel a further response. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (c).) The motions must also be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (b).)

Finally, Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1345 requires that all motions or responses involving further discovery contain a separate statement with the text of each request, the response, and a statement of factual and legal reasons for compelling further responses. (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1345, subd. (a)(3)).

III. Discussion

A. Discovery Responses

As noted at the previous hearing, Plaintiff’s Motion is timely, includes a separate statement, and satisfies the meet and confer requirements. (3/4/21 Minute Order.)

Plaintiff served Defendant Veinberg with Form Interrogatories, Set One, on March 4, 2020 via regular mail. (Mot., Susman Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 1.) After being granted several extensions, on May 22, 2020, Defendant Veinberg provided initial responses to the Form Interrogatories without a verification. (Id. at ¶ 8, Exh. 7.) On July 22, 2020, Plaintiff’s counsel sent Defendant Veinberg’s counsel a meet and confer letter regarding perceived deficiencies in Defendant Veinberg’s responses, including the failure to include verifications. (Id. at ¶ 9, Exh. 8.) In response, Defendant Veinberg did not argue supplemental responses were not warranted. (Id. at ¶ 10, Exh. 9.) Instead, Defendant Veinberg’s counsel stated he was “happy to provide amended responses to give more specific facts.” (Id.) Plaintiff’s counsel also granted Defendant Veinberg’s counsel multiple extensions between May 2020 and August 2020 to provide verifications. (Id. at ¶¶ 9-15.) Defendant’s verifications were not received until August 26. (Id. at ¶ 10.) No supplemental responses were received prior to the Motion being filed. (Id. at ¶ 15.)

Plaintiff initially moved to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories Nos. 17.1 as it pertained to Request for Admission Nos. 1, 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, 21, and Nos. 50.1 through 50.6. (Mot., Sep. Stmt., pp. 2-13.) Acknowledging Defendant Veinberg’s supplemental responses dated February 22, 2021, in its reply papers, Plaintiff states that the Responses for Interrogatory No. 17.1 as to RFA Nos. 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 16 and 21, as well as Interrogatory Nos. 50.1, and 50.3-50.6 remain insufficient. (Reply, pp. 2:16-3:9.)

Form Interrogatory No. 17.1

Form Interrogatory 17.1 requires that, for every RFA which does not include an unqualified admission, the responding party provide (1) the number of the RFA, (b) all facts upon which the responding party bases his response, (c) the names, addresses, and telephone number(s) of all persons who have knowledge of those facts, and (d) identify the documents and other tangible things that support the responding party’s response and to state the name, address, and telephone number of the person(s) who has/have each document or thing.

1. RFA Nos. 5, 6, and 13

In reply, Plaintiff argues that supplemental responses as to RFA Nos. 5, 6, and 13 remain insufficient because Defendant Veinberg did not identify the documents that support his denial. (Reply, p. 2:19-20.)

Defendant Veinberg did identify the documents that support his response. His supplemental responses identified “Veinberg DOCS 1-50” and further stated that additional documents may be produced as discovery continues. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.)

However, the responses are insufficient in that Defendant Veinberg does not list the addresses and telephone numbers of the persons he identified as having knowledge of the facts stated in support of his denial. (Id.) Defendant Veinberg must also state the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all the persons that have each document identified. He did not do so in his initial or supplemental responses.

2. RFA No. 8

RFA No. 8 asks that Defendant Veinberg admit that there remains an outstanding balance of $18,717.66 for the services Plaintiff provided to Defendant Veinberg pursuant to their contract. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) Initially, Defendant Veinberg denied this RFA. (Id.) In his supplemental responses, the response was amended as follows: “Admitted in part that there is an amount owed by Defendants, though deny as to what is the purported amount of that outstanding balance, and Defendants have defenses to the amount owed.” (Id.) In response to Interrogatory No. 17.1(b), Defendant Veinberg states the following:

“Defendants do not owe Plaintiff anymore [sic] money. Plaintiff was paid in full $26,300.00 which was compensation well beyond the legal work performed by Plaintiff for Defendants. Furthermore, Plaintiff did legal work that was not authorized by Defendants, and if they had been made aware of the legal work and the amount it would cost and the likelihood of success, they would not have consented to it. Plaintiff performed unnecessary legal work that should not be compensated by Defendants as it was unnecessary. Finally, Defendant Veinberg is an associate/partner/agent/joint venturer of Lucas Jarach, so [his] settlement with Plaintiff releases Defendant Veinberg.”

(Id.)

In reply, Plaintiff argues this response was not supplemented and that no documents supporting his answer were identified. (Reply, p. 2:21-22.) The Court agrees. Defendant Veinberg did not identify the work that was not authorized or unnecessary. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) He must also identify all documents or things that support his response and must identify the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all persons who have knowledge of the facts stated and who have the documents or things identified. Defendant Veinberg did not do so.

3. RFA No. 14 and 16

Plaintiff argues the supplemental responses to RFA Nos. 14 and 16 remain deficient because Defendant Veinberg failed to provide any facts that support his response and because he failed to identify any documents that support his denials. (Reply, p. 2:24-27.)

RFA No. 14 asks that Defendant Veinberg admit that Plaintiff “fully performed all duties, obligations, covenants and conditions require[d] of it pursuant to the Contract.” (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) RFA No. 16 asks that Defendant Veinberg admit that he failed to fully compensate Plaintiff for all of the legal services rendered and costs advanced. (Id.) Defendant Veinberg denied both requests. (Id.)

Having reviewed Defendant Veinberg’s supplemental response to Interrogatory No. 17.1 as to RFA No. 14, the Court finds it to be insufficient. The facts offered in support of his denial to RFA No. 14 do not state why Plaintiff did not perform all obligations, covenants, and conditions required under the parties alleged contract. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) In addition, Defendant Veinberg does not list the addresses and telephone numbers of the persons he identified as having knowledge of the facts stated in support of his denial. (Id.) Defendant Veinberg must also state the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all the persons that have each document identified. He did not do so in his initial or supplemental responses.

Defendant Veinberg’s response to RFA No. 16 is identical to the response for RFA No. 14. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.). In summary, Defendant Veinberg denies he failed to fully compensate Plaintiff because (1) their alleged contract is not enforceable, (2) the amount billed and the amount requested in this litigation are different; and (3) Plaintiff was already paid in full. (Id.) Defendant Veinberg offers the following facts in support of his response: (1) that Plaintiff did not inform Defendant Veinberg they were unlikely to succeed in the case against Dagmara Dominguez; (2) that if Plaintiff had done do, Defendant Veinberg would not have hired Plaintiff because he had no money and would have instead found an attorney in Florida; (3) that Plaintiff asked Defendant Veinberg to sign the contract to facilitate litigation and communication because Defendant Rios did not speak any English; (4) that Defendant Veinberg at no time understood that he would be responsible for compensating Plaintiff; (5) that Plaintiff never informed Defendant Veinberg it could not litigate in Florida; and (6) that Plaintiff was paid in full in the amount of $26,300.00. (Id.) The Court finds these facts to be sufficient. However, as with RFA 14, Defendant Veinberg does not list the addresses and telephone numbers of the persons he identified as having knowledge of the facts stated in support of his denial. (Id.) Defendant Veinberg must also state the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all the persons that have each document identified in his response. He did not do so in his initial or supplemental responses.

4. RFA No. 21

Plaintiff argues that Defendant Veinberg failed and refused to supplement his response or give any reason for his failure to do so. (Reply, p. 3:1-2.) Having reviewed Defendant Veinberg’s evidence, the Court finds he did provide a supplemental response to this interrogatory. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.)

RFA No. 21 requests that Defendant Veinberg admit he “failed and refused to fully compensate Plaintiff for the full value of the legal services rendered and the costs advanced.” (Id.) Defendant Veinberg denied this request. (Id.) The facts provided in support of Defendant Veinberg’s denial are identical to those for RFA Nos. 14 and 16. (Id.) The Court finds these facts to be sufficient. However, as with RFAs 14 and 16, Defendant Veinberg does not list the addresses and telephone numbers of the persons he identified as having knowledge of the facts stated in support of his denial. (Id.) Defendant Veinberg must also state the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of all the persons that have each document identified. He did not do so in his initial or supplemental responses.

Interrogatory No. 50.1

Defendant Veinberg did not provide any response to Interrogatory No. 50.1. He is ordered to do so.

Interrogatory No. 50.3.

Interrogatory No. 50.3 asks whether the performance of any agreement was excused, to identify each agreement excused, and state why performance was excused. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) Defendant Veinberg responds performance is excused due to fraud in the inducement, unclean hands, and unconscionability. (Id.) Defendant further states that Plaintiff was paid in full in the amount of $26,300.00, which was beyond the legal work performed, that Plaintiff performed unauthorized and unnecessary work, and that Defendant Jarach’s settlement releases Defendant Veinberg. (Id.)

Plaintiff argues Defendant Veinberg only provides legal conclusions. The Court agrees. Defendant Veinberg does not state what constitutes fraud in the inducement, unclean hands, or what portion of the parties’ alleged contract is procedurally or substantively unconscionable.

Interrogatory No. 50.4

Interrogatory No. 50.4 asks whether any agreement alleged in the pleadings was terminated by mutual agreement, release, accord and satisfaction, or novation and requires the responding party to identify the agreement terminated, the date of termination, and the basis for termination. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) Defendant Veinberg states, “[y]es, including but not limited to accord and satisfaction.” (Id.) If there is another basis on which Defendant Veinberg relies for the argument that the alleged contract was terminated, he must so state; using “but not limited to” language is evasive and nonresponsive. Defendant Veinberg’s response is otherwise identical to his response to Interrogatory No. 50.3. However, this is insufficient. Defendant Veinberg failed to identify the alleged agreement terminated, to state facts demonstrating the alleged contract was terminated, and to state the date of termination.

Interrogatory No. 50.5

Interrogatory No. 50.5 asks the responding party whether any agreement alleged was unenforceable, to identify the agreement that was unenforceable, and to state why each agreement is unenforceable. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) Defendant Veinberg responded that the entire agreement is unenforceable due to procedural and substantive unconscionability, fraud in the inducement, deceptive or unfair trade practices in violation of CLRA and/or UCL, and equitable defenses including but not limited to unclean hands, laches, etc. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) Defendant’s response is incomplete. If Defendant Veinberg argues additional bases exist to deem the parties’ alleged contract unenforceable, he must so state; he cannot simply state, “but not limited to” and “etc.” In addition, he has provided no facts which support the stated legal conclusions.

Interrogatory No. 50.6

Interrogatory No. 50.6 asks if any agreement alleged in the pleadings is ambiguous and the reason why it is ambiguous. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 7, Exh. 4.) Defendant Veinberg identified the terms “legal services”, “services”, and “costs” as ambiguous, but does not explain why they are ambiguous. Thus, this response must be supplemented.

For all the reasons discussed above, Defendant Veinberg is ordered to provide code-compliant, verified supplemental responses to Interrogatory No. 17.1 as it relates to RFA Nos. 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 16, and 21, and to Interrogatory Nos. 50.1, and 50.3-50.6.

B. Sanctions

Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.030, subdivision (a) provides, in pertinent part, that the court may impose a monetary sanction on a party engaging in the misuse of the discovery process to pay the reasonable expenses, including attorney’s fees, incurred by anyone as a result of that conduct. A misuse of the discovery process includes failing to respond or submit to an authorized method of discovery. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.010, subd. (d).) A sanction is warranted unless the Court finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030, subd. (a).)

In addition, Section 2030.300 requires that a court impose a monetary sanction against the party and/or attorney that unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a further response unless it finds the losing party acted with substantial justification or other circumstance makes the sanction unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., 2030.300, subd. (d).)

Defendant Veinberg opposes Plaintiff’s Motion and request for sanctions, somewhat confusingly, on the basis that it is contrary to California law and that he was not required to admit any RFA. (Oppo., p. 4:6-26; p. 7:13-24.) However, Plaintiff’s Motion does seek to require Defendant Veinberg to admit any RFA; it seeks responses regarding the basis for Defendant Veinberg’s RFA denials. Nor has Defendant Veinberg demonstrated Plaintiff’s counsel failed to meet and confer in good faith. (Id. at pp. 9:4-10:7.) Indeed, on July 22, 2020, before filing this Motion, Plaintiff’s counsel provided Defendant’s counsel a detailed letter regarding the reasons supplemental responses were needed, which Defendant’s counsel did not argue against. (Mot., Susman Decl., ¶ 9, Exh. 8.) Plaintiff’s counsel also granted numerous extensions to provide supplemental responses at Defendant Veinberg’s counsel’s request. (Id. at ¶¶ 10-14.) Defendant Veinberg’s counsel argues the Motion should have been taken off calendar the week of February 21, 2021 after he provided supplemental responses. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 4, Exh. 1.) However, given that Defendant Veinberg’s responses remained deficient, Plaintiff was not required to take the Motion off calendar.

Defendant Veinberg’s counsel also argues that the reason there was a delay in the responses was that, in 2020, Defendant Veinberg’s newborn had serious health issues that required hospitalization and that in the fall of 2020, Defendant’s wife and newborn had to relocate to Russia. (Oppo., Flynn Decl., ¶ 9.) Counsel also states this fact was “made clear to Plaintiff on numerous occasions.” (Id.) However, none of the correspondence exchanged between the parties mentions this hardship. (See Mot., Susman Decl., Exhs. 5-14; Oppo., Flynn Decl., Exh. 1.)

The Court finds Defendant Veinberg and his counsel, Francis J. “Casey” Flynn acted without substantial justification in opposing this Motion and that no other circumstance exists making the imposition of sanctions unjust.

Plaintiff requests $4,560.00 in sanctions based on eight (8) hours of attorney time billed at $500.00 per hour and one filing fee of $60.00. (Mot., Susman Decl., ¶¶ 16-19.) First, it appears Plaintiff’s counsel miscalculated the amount sought. Most importantly, the amount sought is excessive. The Court finds $2,560.00, based on five hours of attorney time and one filing fee, to be reasonable. Sanctions are imposed against Defendant Veinberg and Defendant Veinberg’s counsel, jointly and severally, and are to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

IV. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Harder LLP’s Motion for an Order Compelling Defendant Veinberg to Provide Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, is GRANTED. Defendant Nicolas Veinberg is ordered to serve verified supplemental responses to Form Interrogatory Nos. 17.1, 50.1, 50.3, 50.4, 50.5, and 50.6 as ordered herein within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is also GRANTED. Sanctions of $2,560.00 are issued against Defendant Veinberg and his counsel Francis J. “Casey” Flynn, jointly and severally, and are to be paid within thirty (30) days of notice of this order.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC05686    Hearing Date: March 04, 2021    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Thu., March 4. 2021 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Harder LLP v. Jarach, et al. COMP. FILED: 06-13-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC05686 DISC. C/O: 05-24-21

NOTICE: OK MOTION C/O: 06-08-21

TRIAL DATE: 06-23-21

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION FOR AN ORDER COMPELLING DEFENDANT VEINBERG TO PROVIDE FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, AND FOR MONETARY SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Harder LLP

RESP. PARTY: Defendant Nicolas Veinberg

MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES; REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS

(CCP § 2030.300)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Harder LLP’s Motion for an Order Compelling Defendant Veinberg to Provide Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and for Monetary Sanctions is CONTINUED TO MAY 4, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Defendant Veinberg is ordered to file and serve supplemental papers as requested herein.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: Filed on February 25, 2021 [X] Late [ ] None

REPLY: Filed on March 1, 2021 [X] Late [ ] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 13, 2019, Plaintiff Harder LLP (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract, quantum meruit, and account stated against Defendants Lucas Jarach (“Jarach”), Nicolas Veinberg (“Veinberg”), and Riverside Entertainment Group, LLC (“Riverside Entertainment”). Defendant Veinberg filed an Answer on April 20, 2020 and an Amended Answer on August 24, 2020.

Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for an Order Compelling Defendant Nicolas Veinberg to Provide Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and for Monetary Sanctions (the “Motion”) on August 26, 2020. Defendant Veinberg filed a late Opposition on February 25, and Plaintiff filed a late Reply on March 1.

  1. Legal Standard

Code of Civil Procedure section 2030.300 provides that “[o]n receipt of a response to interrogatories, the propounding party may move for an order compelling a further response if the propounding party deems that . . .”[a]n answer to a particular interrogatory is evasive or incomplete.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (a).)

Notice of the motions must be given within 45 days of service of the verified response, otherwise, the propounding party waives any right to compel a further response. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (c).) The motions must also be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2030.300, subd. (b).)

Finally, Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1345 requires that all motions or responses involving further discovery contain a separate statement with the text of each request, the response, and a statement of factual and legal reasons for compelling further responses. (Cal. Rules of Court, Rule 3.1345, subd. (a)(3)).

  1. Discussion

Plaintiff served Defendant Veinberg with Form Interrogatories, Set One, on March 4, 2020 via regular mail. (Mot., Susman Decl., ¶ 2, Exh. 1.) After being granted several extensions, on May 22, 2020, Defendant Veinberg provided initial responses to the Form Interrogatories without a verification. (Id. at ¶ 8, Exh. 7.) On July 22, 2020, Plaintiff’s counsel sent Defendant’s counsel a meet and confer letter regarding perceived deficiencies in Defendant Veinberg’s responses, including the failure to include discovery verifications. (Id. at ¶ 9, Exh. 8.) In response, Defendant Veinberg did not argue supplemental responses were not warranted. (Id. at ¶ 10, Exh. 9.) Instead, Defendant Veinberg’s counsel stated he was “happy to provide amended responses to give more specific facts.” (Id.) Plaintiff’s counsel also granted Defendant Veinberg’s counsel multiple extensions between May 2020 and August 2020 to provide verifications. (Id. at ¶¶ 9-15.) Defendant’s verifications were not provided until August 26. (Id. at ¶ 10.) The above demonstrates Plaintiff’s Motion is timely and that it has satisfied the meet and confer requirements. The Motion is also accompanied by a separate statement as required by California Rules of Court rule 3.1345, subdivision (a)(3).

Plaintiff initially moved to compel further responses to Form Interrogatories Nos. 17.1 as they pertained to Request for Admission Nos. 1, 5, 6, 8, 13, 14, 15, 16, 19, and Nos. 50.1 through 50.6. (Mot., Sep. Stmt., pp. 2-13.)

In Opposition, Defendant Veinberg argues this Motion should be denied because, “under California law, a party is not required to admit a request for admission if that party has a ‘reasonably entertained good faith belief that the party [will] prevail on the issue at trial.’…” (Oppo., p. 2:4-19.) Despite being aware that this is the law in California, Defendant argues, Plaintiff refuses to take this Motion off calendar. (Id.) The Court notes that Plaintiff’s Motion seeks further responses to Defendant Veinberg’s allegedly deficient initial responses to the first set of Form Interrogatories. (Mot., p. 3:4-8.) Plaintiff’s Motion does not seek to require Defendant to admit any Request for Admission. Thus, Defendant’s argument that the Motion should be denied in its entirety on this basis is wholly unpersuasive.

Defendant Veinberg also appears to argue that Plaintiff is not entitled to discovery responses because Defendant lost his job, because his attorney is representing him on a pro bono basis, because his newborn had serious health issues, and because his baby and the baby’s mother eventually had to relocate to Russia. (Oppo., p. 3:15-22.) The Court understands these situations can create difficulties in responding to discovery. However, this does not entitle Defendant to deprive Plaintiff of the discovery it is entitled to. Defendant has not cited any legal authority in support of this position, nor is the Court aware of any.

The Court now examines the discovery requests for which a further response is sought. Notably, Plaintiff did not submit copies of Defendant Veinberg’s responses to the Requests for Admission in its moving papers. In Opposition, Defendant did. Having reviewed the discovery responses attached to Defendant’s Opposition, including the Supplemental Responses dated February 22, 2021, the Court finds there are no verification pages attached to them. Unverified discovery responses are tantamount to no responses at all. (Appleton v. Superior Court (1988) 206 Cal.App.3d 632, 636.) For this reason, the Court cannot determine which set of responses the ruling on this Motion should be based on, the initial responses or the supplemental responses.

Thus, Defendant Veinberg is ordered to provide copies of the verification pages for the discovery responses included in its Opposition papers. The parties’ requests for sanctions will be addressed at the next scheduled hearing.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Harder LLP’s Motion for an Order Compelling Defendant Veinberg to Provide Further Responses to Form Interrogatories, Set One, and for Monetary Sanctions is CONTINUED TO MAY 4, 2021 at 10:30 a.m. in Department 25 at the SPRING STREET COURTHOUSE. At least 16 court days before the next scheduled hearing, Defendant Veinberg is ordered to file and serve supplemental papers as requested herein.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC05686    Hearing Date: September 01, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Tue., September 1, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Harder LLP v. Jarach, et al. COMPL. FILED: 06-13-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC05686 DISC. C/O: 11-10-20

NOTICE: OK DISC. MOT. C/O: 11-25-20

TRIAL DATE: 12-10-20

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO STRIKE PORTIONS OF ANSWER

MOVING PARTY: Plaintiff Harder LLP

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO STRIKE

(CCP § 435)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Plaintiff Harder LLP’s Motion to Strike Portions of Answer is PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: None filed as of August 27, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of August 27, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background & Discussion

On June 13, 2019, Plaintiff Harder LLP (“Plaintiff”) filed this action for breach of contract, quantum meruit, and account stated against Defendants Lucas Jarach, Nicolas Veinberg (“Veinberg”), Osvaldo Rios, and Riverside Entertainment Group, LLC. Defendant Veinberg filed an Answer on April 20, 2020.

On April 29, 2020, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion to Strike Portions of Answer (the “Motion”) seeking to strike Defendant Veinberg’s statute of limitations affirmative defense and prayer for attorney’s fees. (Mot., p. 3:2-5.) Defendant Veinberg thereafter filed an Amended Answer eliminating the statute of limitations affirmative defense and request for attorney’s fees. (8/24/20 Amended Answer.)

On August 27, 2020, Plaintiff filed a Notice of Withdrawal of Motion to Strike. Accordingly, the Motion is PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Plaintiff Harder LLP’s Motion to Strike Portions of Answer is PLACED OFF CALENDAR.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

Case Number: 19STLC05686    Hearing Date: August 04, 2020    Dept: 25

HEARING DATE: Tue., August 4, 2020 JUDGE /DEPT: Blancarte/25

CASE NAME: Harder, LLP v. Jarach, et al. COMPL. FILED: 06-13-19

CASE NUMBER: 19STLC05686 DISC. C/O: 11-10-20

NOTICE: OK MOTION C/O: 11-25-20

TRIAL DATE: 12-10-20

PROCEEDINGS: MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS AND COMPLAINT; REQUEST FOR OSC RE SANCTIONS

MOVING PARTY: Defendant Nicolas Veinberg

RESP. PARTY: None

MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF SUMMONS & COMPLAINT

(CCP § 418.10; CRC 3.110)

TENTATIVE RULING:

Defendant Nicolas Veinberg’s request to quash service of the Summons & Complaint is PLACED OFF CALENDAR AS MOOT. However, his request to set an OSC re Sanctions for Failure to Comply with California Rules of Court, rule 3.110 is GRANTED ON THE CONDITION THAT, before the hearing, he files an amended proof of service that complies with the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 1013a.

SERVICE:

[X] Proof of Service Timely Filed (CRC, rule 3.1300) OK

[X] Correct Address (CCP §§ 1013, 1013a) OK

[X] 16/21 Court Days Lapsed (CCP §§ 12c, 1005(b)) OK

OPPOSITION: None filed as of July 30, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

REPLY: None filed as of July 30, 2020 [ ] Late [X] None

ANALYSIS:

  1. Background

On June 13, 2019, Plaintiff Harder, LLP (“Plaintiff”) filed an action for breach of contract, quantum meruit, and account stated against Defendants Lucas Jarach, Nicolas Veinberg (“Veinberg”), Osvaldo Rios, and Riverside Entertainment Group, LLC.

Plaintiff filed a proof of service demonstrating that Defendant Veinberg was personally served with the Summons and Complaint on February 7, 2020. (2/21/20 Proof of Service.) On March 9, 2020, Defendant Veinberg filed the instant Motion to Quash Service of Summons and Complaint (the “Motion”). Defendant Veinberg thereafter filed an Answer to the Complaint on April 20, 2020.

To date, no opposition to the Motion has been filed.

  1. Legal Standard

“A defendant, on or before the last day of his or her time to plead or within any further time that the court may for good cause allow, may serve and file a notice of motion for one or more of the following purposes: ¶ To quash service of summons on the ground of lack of jurisdiction of the court over him or her.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 418.10, subd. (a)(1).) A defendant has 30 days after the service of the summons to file a responsive pleading, or 40 days if service was effectuated by substitute service. (Code Civ. Proc., § 412.20, subd. (a)(3); Code Civ. Proc., § 415.20, subd. (b).)

  1. Discussion

Defendant Veinberg argues that, pursuant to California Rules of Court, rule 3.110, service was untimely and thus the Court must quash service of the Summons and Complaint. (Mot., p. 4:2-6.) However, Defendant Veinberg filed an Answer to the Complaint on April 20, 2020. Thus, his request to quash service is MOOT.

However, Defendant also requests that the Court issue an order to show cause why sanctions should not be imposed on Plaintiff as well as an assessment of costs. (Mot., p. 4:7-10.) Rule 3.110, subdivision (b) requires that the Complaint to be served on all named defendants and that proofs of service on those defendants be filed with the court within 60 days after filing the Complaint. The remedy for failure to serve within the specified time is a potential award of sanctions. Rule 3.110, subdivision (f) provides that “[i]f a party fails to serve and file pleadings as required under this rule and has not obtained an order extending time to serve its pleadings, the court may issue an order to show cause why sanctions shall not be imposed.” Here, Defendant Veinberg was served on February 7, 2020, more than 60 days after the Complaint was originally filed on June 13, 2019.

However, the Court notes that the certificate of service filed with the Motion does not comply with the proof of service requirements under Code of Civil Procedure section 1013a. The Court is inclined to grant Defendant’s request to issue an order to show cause provided that Defendant Veinberg files an amended proof of service before the hearing that complies with Section 1013a.

  1. Conclusion & Order

For the foregoing reasons, Defendant Nicolas Veinberg’s request to quash service of the Summons & Complaint is PLACED OFF CALENDAR AS MOOT. However, Defendant Veinberg’s request to set an OSC re Sanctions for Failure to Comply with California Rules of Court, rule 3.110 is GRANTED ON THE CONDITION THAT, before the hearing, he files an amended proof of service that complies with the requirements of Code of Civil Procedure section 1013a.

Moving party is ordered to give notice.

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