This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/02/2019 at 05:34:51 (UTC).

LEV SMORODINSKY VS LIEBERMAN SOFTWARE CORPORATION

Case Summary

On 03/14/2017 LEV SMORODINSKY filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against LIEBERMAN SOFTWARE CORPORATION. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is NANCY L. NEWMAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.
Case Details Parties Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****7232

  • Filing Date:

    03/14/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

NANCY L. NEWMAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

SMORODINSKY LEV

Defendant

LIEBERMAN SOFTWARE CORPORATION

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff Attorneys

ZOKAEIM DANA

KRUGER JACKIE ROSE

Defendant Attorney

COLT DOUG W.

Court Documents

Court documents are not available for this case.

 

Docket Entries

  • 04/30/2019
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by LEV SMORODINSKY (Plaintiff)

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department P; Order to Show Cause Re: (counsel for defendant's failure to appear on 1/15/19) - Held

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  • 04/24/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Held

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  • 04/24/2019
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Plaintiff Lev Smorodinsky's Motion to Compel the Deposition o...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 04/23/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/12/2019
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department P; Hearing on Motion to Compel Discovery (not "Further Discovery") - Not Held - Advanced and Continued - by Court

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  • 04/12/2019
  • DocketDeclaration (Declaration of Doug Colt); Filed by LIEBERMAN SOFTWARE CORPORATION (Defendant)

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  • 04/12/2019
  • DocketOpposition (Opposition to Motions); Filed by LIEBERMAN SOFTWARE CORPORATION (Defendant)

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144 More Docket Entries
  • 06/30/2017
  • DocketStatement-Case Management; Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 04/27/2017
  • DocketAnswer to Complaint Filed (BEHALF OF: LIEBERMAN SOFTWARE CORP ); Filed by Attorney for Defendant

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  • 04/27/2017
  • DocketAnswer; Filed by LIEBERMAN SOFTWARE CORPORATION (Defendant)

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  • 03/30/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by LEV SMORODINSKY (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/30/2017
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 03/14/2017
  • DocketCivil Case Cover Sheet

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  • 03/14/2017
  • DocketSummons Filed; Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff

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  • 03/14/2017
  • DocketSummons; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 03/14/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by LEV SMORODINSKY (Plaintiff)

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  • 03/14/2017
  • DocketComplaint Filed

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: ****7232    Hearing Date: April 23, 2021    Dept: P

Tentative Ruling

Smorodinsky v. Lieberman Software, Case No. ****7232

Hearing Date April 23, 2021

Plaintiff’s Motion for Deposition Sanctions

On November 30, 2020, the court ordered plaintiff’s deposition to take place within sixty days. The deposition has not occurred. Plaintiff moves for sanctions.

The parties have been ordered to meet and confer to find a date for the deposition. The parties’ mutual lack of civility and accusations is dismaying to the court. This matter should have been resolved quickly, civilly and amicably. If the parties were unable to agree, a request for court intervention should have been made. This motion is a waste of scarce judicial resources. The court sternly admonishes both sides to work together in a civil manner, in accord with the rules of professional conduct, to ensure this type of issue does not occur again. Motion denied.

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPEAR VIA LA COURT CONNECT.



Case Number: ****7232    Hearing Date: November 12, 2020    Dept: P

 

Tentative Ruling

Smorodinsky v. Lieberman Software, Case No. ****7232

Hearing Date November 12, 2020

Supplemental Briefing re: Defendant’s Motion for Reconsideration of Order Granting Terminating Sanctions

On January 31, 2020, the court issued a tentative ruling on plaintiff’s motion for sanctions, including terminating sanctions, ordering defendant to produce requested discovery. After oral argument, which defendant failed to attend, the court modified its tentative ruling and issued terminating sanctions based on defendant’s repeated failure to appear in court and to pay ordered sanctions. See 1/31/2020 minute order.

On September 15, 2020 defendant moved for reconsideration of the terminating sanctions order. The court granted the motion, after defendant’s counsel provided an adequate explanation for his failure to appear at the January 31 hearing. At plaintiff’s request, the court re-set the hearing to November 12, 2020, and plaintiff was given permission to file a supplemental brief limited to “things that have happened since the first hearing on the terminating sanctions motion.”

Plaintiff argues prejudice due to defendant’s failure to respond to discovery, comply with court orders and appear at scheduled hearings, and argues against additional discovery because the discovery cutoff date passed. Defendant paid sanctions on February 21, 2020, but plaintiff argues they were late and requests additional sanctions.

The court’s order states plaintiff must only provide supplemental briefing as to “things that have happened since the first hearing on the terminating sanctions motion.” None of the arguments made addresses any new facts since January 2020. The court has no basis to reconsider its prior rulings of January 2020.

The court’s September 15, 2020 tentative ruling will be the final ruling. Terminating sanctions are DENIED. No further sanctions will be awarded.

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE ENCOURAGED TO APPEAR REMOTELY VIA LA COURT CONNECT.



Case Number: ****7232    Hearing Date: September 15, 2020    Dept: P

 

Tentative Ruling

Smorodinsky v. Lieberman Software, Case No. ****7232

Hearing Date September 15, 2020

Motion for Reconsideration of Order Granting Terminating Sanctions

On January 30, 2020 the court issued a tentative ruling on plaintiff’s motion for sanctions, including terminating sanctions, ordering defendant to produce requested discovery. After oral argument, which defendant failed to attend, the court modified its tentative ruling and issued terminating sanctions, in part based on defendant’s repeated failure to appear and to pay ordered sanctions. See 1/31/2020 minute order. Defendant moves for reconsideration.

Under Cal. Code of Civ. Proc. ;1008, a party can move for reconsideration based on “new or different facts, circumstances, or law” not known at the time the court issued its order. Cal. Rule of Court Rule 3.1308(a) states “oral argument must be permitted only if a party notifies” the other party of its intent to present oral argument “by 4:00 pm” the evening prior to the hearing.

Defendant’s counsel planned to attend the January 31, 2020, but upon receipt of the court’s tentative, decided not to contest and cancelled his planned flight to Los Angeles. Plaintiff’s counsel informed him at 8:00 pm on January 30, 2020 that plaintiff intended to contest the tentative ruling. Colt Decl. at ¶3. Defense counsel states because he lives in Northern California, he was unable to secure a flight to Los Angeles. Id. ¶2-3. Counsel attempted and failed on the morning of the hearing to appear via court call. Id. ¶5. Counsel states he sent multiple text messages to plaintiff’s counsel stating he was unable to get approval for a telephonic appearance and asking that the hearing be continued if the court was inclined to alter its tentative. Id. at ¶¶8-9.

Defendant argues oral argument should not have been allowed, as plaintiff’s counsel did not provide notice until 8 pm on January 30, 2020, in violation of Rule of Court 3.1308(a). The rule states that a court must allow oral argument if notice is timely given. It does not prohibit oral argument absent timely notice. Regardless, these facts constitute “new or different circumstances” not known to the court when it modified the tentative and issued terminating sanctions. The decision to grant terminating sanctions was based, in part, on defendant’s repeated failure to appear, including at the January 31 hearing. As the court is now aware of these facts, it would be inequitable to issue terminating sanctions. GRANTED. The court will adopt its initial tentative ruling issued 1/30/2020.

DUE TO THE ONGOING COVID-19 PANDEMIC, PARTIES AND COUNSEL ARE STRONGLY ENCOURAGED TO AVOID IN-PERSON APPEARANCES AND TO APPEAR REMOTELY VIA LA COURT CONNECT.



Case Number: ****7232    Hearing Date: January 31, 2020    Dept: P

 

Tentative Ruling

Lev Smorodinsky v. Lieberman Software Corporation, Case No. ****7232

Hearing Date: January 31, 2020

Plaintiff’s Brief Re Remaining Case Matters and Motion for Sanctions

On November 19, 2019, the court ruled on plaintiff’s motion for terminating sanctions. The court declined to issue terminating sanctions but ordered parties to meet and confer regarding outstanding discovery issues and ordered defendant to pay $17,000.00 in sanctions, due December 31, 2019. Plaintiff seeks terminating sanctions for defendant’s alleged failure to comply with the November 19 court order.

A court may impose sanctions for “misuse of the discovery process” including, but not limited to failing to respond or submit to an authorized method of discovery, making an evasive response to discovery and disobeying a court order to provide discovery. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. ;2023.010(c). When a discovery violation is willful and preceded by a history of abuse, and the evidence shows that a less severe sanction wouldn’t produce compliance with discovery rules, a court is justified in imposing terminating sanctions. Deyo v. Kilbourne (1978) 84 CA3d 771, 796.

Plaintiff’s arguments regarding defendant’s failure to produce adequate supplemental discovery were considered in the court’s November 19, 2019; the court declines to reconsider them as a basis for terminating sanctions. As the order did not require an oral meet and confer, failure to do so did not violate a court order. Defendant did fail to pay the sanctions by the due date and has repeatedly failed to timely pay ordered sanctions.

The court will set an Order to Show Cause hearing re: terminating sanctions for February 25, 2020 at 8:30 am. If the full amount due in sanctions are not paid by that date, the court is inclined to order terminating sanctions. Additionally, the court will enter the order suggested in plaintiff’s reply and conceded to in defendant’s opposition.

Plaintiff may file an amended complaint including Beyond Trust, Inc. as a defendant, without objection. This is to be filed within _____ days.

Defendant will not object to the depositions of Jack Jaffe or Corrine Monge. These depositions will go forward within 45 days, at a mutually agreeable time and place. Defendant will provide further amended responses to written discovery as requested in plaintiff’s separate statement, within 30 days, without objection.

Defendant’s Motion to Compel/Reopen Discovery and for Monetary Sanctions

Defendant seeks leave to take plaintiff’s deposition and compel production of relevant files from his two computers. Defendant was unable to depose plaintiff due to plaintiff’s counsel’s three-week unavailability near discovery cutoff date. Defendant alleges plaintiff’s counsel promised to produce files from his laptop computer, but never did so. Additionally, defendant alleges plaintiff’s desktop computer contains files and documents relevant to plaintiff’s employment, which were not identified in discovery responses. The discovery cutoff date was June 17, 2019, based on a prior trial date.

On a motion of any party, a court may grant leave to reopen discovery. The court must consider “any matter relevant to the leave requested,” including but not limited to the reasons for the discovery, the diligence of the party seeking the discovery, any likelihood that reopening discovery will result in prejudice, and the length of time that has elapsed between any date previously set and the date presently set for the trial of the action. Cal. Code Civ. Proc. ;2024.050.

The discovery cutoff date was six months ago. However, the discovery sought is highly relevant. As plaintiff’s counsel was unavailable for his client’s deposition prior to the discovery cut-off, it is not unreasonable to order plaintiff to sit for deposition now. As no trial date is currently scheduled, and allowable discovery is limited in scope, prejudice to plaintiff is minimal. The balance of factors weighs in favor of reopening discovery. No sanctions will be granted, as defendant’s failure to obtain the requested discovery is at least partially attributable to defendant’s lack of diligence.

GRANTED as stated. The requested discovery is to be produced, without objection, within 30 days. Plaintiff is to be deposed at a mutually agreeable time and place within 30 days. DENIED as to sanctions.



Case Number: ****7232    Hearing Date: November 19, 2019    Dept: P

 

TENTATIVE RULING

Lev Smorodinsky v. Lieberman Software Corp., Case No. ****7232

Motion for Terminating Sanctions

Hearing Date November 19, 2019

On August 26, 2019, the court ordered defendant to pay $16,411.25 in sanctions for disobedience of prior discovery orders and to immediately respond to supplemental interrogatories, requests for production and requests for admission without objection by September 25, 2019. Plaintiff argues defendant failed to comply by failing to pay sanctions, produce Jack Jaffe for deposition and producing supplemental responses identical to the initial responses (which included objections), despite the court’s order.

There is nothing per se improper about serving supplemental responses essentially identical to defendant’s initial responses, if there is no new information, as defendant states. Plaintiff does not meaningfully refute this.

Plaintiff also argues Phil Lieberman’s verification of the supplemental responses was false, because at Lieberman’s September 18, 2019 deposition, he stated he has not had access to the requested documents since January 31, 2018. Plaintiff states that since defendant’s merger in May 1, 2018, he has not been able to obtain the documents necessary to prepare for trial. The verification does not constitute a discovery violation, since it states Lieberman produced all documents within his possession, not all documents existing anywhere.

The failure to produce Jack Jaffe for deposition does not provide a basis for terminating sanctions. Defendant states – and plaintiff does not deny – that Jaffe no longer works for defendant. Defendant has no ability to produce Jaffe. Plaintiff may subpoena him.

Additionally, plaintiff argues defendant cancelled a scheduled mediation at the last minute, and failed to provide a “counter offer” to plaintiff’s proposed rescheduled date. This dispute does not constitute a discovery violation and is not a basis for awarding terminating sanctions.

Plaintiff states defendant failed to produce an employee handbook responsive to plaintiff’s deposition notice until after the deposition. Plaintiff does not dispute that the handbook was actually produced and provides no evidence that the handbook ultimately produced was incomplete or not fully responsive to the request for production.

Defendant does not dispute that it failed to pay the monetary sanctions previously awarded, but states it is in the process of meeting and conferring with plaintiff’s counsel to arrange for a payment schedule. Further sanctions are therefore not warranted.

Defendant is attempting to comply with the August 26, 2019 order to fulfill its discovery obligations. Terminating sanctions are not to be imposed lightly and are clearly not warranted here. Motion DENIED.