The Stars’ Desert Inn Hotel filed suit against Richard Hwang, a citizen of Taiwan, to collect on a..

The Stars’ Desert Inn Hotel filed suit against Richard Hwang, a citizen of Taiwan, to collect on a $1,885,000 gambling debt. The parties were unable to cooperate in scheduling a date for taking defendant Hwang’s deposition. The court, aware of the scheduling problem, entered an order requiring that the deposition be taken no later than November 29, 1994. Stars requested that Hwang provide at least two dates prior to the deadline when he would be available to be deposed. When Hwang failed to respond to this request, Stars set the date for November 23. Hwang’s lawyers responded on November 21 with a proposal that Hwang be deposed in Taiwan prior to November 29. Stars rejected this proposal and filed a motion asking the court to strike Hwang’s answer and enter a default judgment in favor of the plaintiff. Hwang’s attorneys explained that their client was not cooperating with them and that he refused to be deposed in Nevada. The court imposed a $2,100 fine against Hwang and ordered him to either be deposed in Nevada or to prepay the plaintiff’s expenses (estimated by the plaintiff to be between $20,000 and $40,000), for taking the deposition in Taiwan, no later than February 10, 1995. Hwang failed to pay the fine, asserted that the plaintiff’sestimate of the costs of taking the deposition in Taiwan were excessive, and refused to comply with either option contained in the court’s order. The plaintiff again requested that the court impose the sanctions. Should the court strike the answer and award a default judgmentto the plaintiff in the amount of $1,885,000 (plus interest, costs, attorney’s fees, and postjudgment interest)? Are there any less drastic steps that should be taken before imposing such a drastic sanction?

 

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