Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Chin-Caplan v. Conway Homer, PC

Superior Court of Massachusetts, Suffolk, Business Litigation Session

September 10, 2018

Sylvia CHIN-CAPLAN
v.
CONWAY HOMER, PC et al.

          File Date: September 11, 2018

          OPINION

          Brian A. Davis, Associate Justice of the Superior Court

          This is a dispute between former partners in the law firm of Conway, Homer and Chin-Caplan, P.C. The case was filed in June 2017. Plaintiff Sylvia Chin-Caplan ("Plaintiff") claims that she was forced from the partnership by defendants Kevin Conway and Ronald Homer (collectively, with defendant Conway Homer, P.C., "Defendants") so that they would not have to share certain fee awards with her. Defendants deny Plaintiff’s allegations. Discovery is ongoing.

         The matter came before the Court most recently on Plaintiff’s motion to compel supplemental written discovery responses from Defendants, and Defendants’ cross motion to compel one supplemental discovery response from Plaintiff. Many of Plaintiff’s discovery grievances have to do with Defendants’ decision not to produce documents or information predating January 1, 2013, based on Defendants’ assertion that all of Plaintiff’s claims are subject to a three-year limitations period. Defendants, in turn, complain that Plaintiff has failed to quantify her damages despite being asked to do so in Defendants’ Interrogatory No. 5. No hearing has been requested by either side on either motion.

         The Court has reviewed the parties’ motion papers. In light of those submissions, Plaintiff’s motion to compel is ALLOWED IN PART, and Defendants’ cross motion to compel is ALLOWED IN PART, for the reasons, and to the extent, described below.

         As to Plaintiff’s discovery requests, the Court does not agree that the statute of limitations with respect to all of Plaintiff’s claims is, at best, three years. Plaintiff has asserted a claim for unjust enrichment/quantum meruit. See Complaint (Docket Entry No. 1.0), Count II. Quantum meruit is a "quasi-contract" theory that seeks to avoid "unjust enrichment of one party and unjust detriment to the other party." Salamon v. Terra, 394 Mass. 857, 859 (1985) (internal quotation marks and citation omitted). See also Cantell v. Hill Holliday Connors Cosmopulos, Inc., 55 Mass.App.Ct. 550, 554 n.6 (2002) (recovery in quantum meruit is based on a "contract implied in law ..."). Massachusetts law provides that "[a]ctions of contract ... found upon contracts or liabilities, express or implied, ... shall ... be commenced only within six years next after the cause of action accrues." G.L.c. 260, § 2 (emphasis added). Thus, Plaintiff’s right of recovery in this action potentially extends as far back as June 2011 (i.e., six years prior to the commencement of this action). Plaintiff has not demonstrated, however, any reason to extend the relevant time period for discovery to an even earlier date.

         The Court also disagrees with Defendants’ positions as to the relevance and onerousness of various discovery requests propounded by Plaintiff. In almost every instance, Plaintiff’s discovery requests, reasonably construed, seek information that is, at the very least, "reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence."[1] See Mass.R.Civ.P. 12(b)(1).

          As to Defendants’ Interrogatory No. 5, it is fair and reasonable for Defendants to request that Plaintiff itemize and quantify her alleged damages. It also is fair and reasonable, however, for Plaintiff to defer responding to any such request until she has had an adequate opportunity to conduct her own discovery and determine the extent of her losses, if any.

         Accordingly, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED THAT Defendants shall prepare and serve, within twenty (20) days of the date of this Order, the following:

         1. A supplemental, substantive response to Plaintiff’s Interrogatory No. 26 extending back to June 1, 2011;

         2. Supplemental responses to Plaintiff’s Document Request Nos. 1, 4, 18, and 25 extending back to June 1, 2011, and encompassing, among other things, any and all responsive documents beyond the Firm’s tax returns; and

         3. Legible copies of all non-privileged documents within Defendants’ current possession, custody, or control that are reasonably responsive to Document Request Nos. 1, 4, 18, and 25, as supplemented.

         IT IS HEREBY FURTHER ORDERED THAT Plaintiff shall prepare and serve, on or before December 1, 2018, a supplemental, substantive response to Defendants’ Interrogatory No. 5 that itemizes and quantifies ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.