Alison Grant with the Plain Dealer in Cleveland wrote an article on Eaton Corp.’s latest trouble in its Hinds County litigation against Frisby Aerospace. Here is the article.
The article covers Hinds Circuit Judge Jeff Weills’ Order requiring multiple Eaton employees—including CEO Alexander Cutler—to explain why Eaton did not previously produce emails from Ed Peters that discussed his communications with Judge Bobby DeLaughter about the case. Here is Judge Weill’s order.
The article states:
In one email, Peters wrote to a top Eaton lawyer, "If you can keep mgmt. off your back for just a short time (relatively) I think they will be VERY pleased with you."
In the March emails, Peters advised Eaton in-house attorney Vic Leo that Judge DeLaughter was "spending every free minute" on a crucial ruling in the lawsuit and that "we are getting priority time," according to a motion Frisby filed last month.
In a followup email the same day, Peters said he was "REALLY pushing to get the ox out of the ditch, but the Jdg IS in trial for the next 2-3 weeks," and "I’m PUSHING."
The email chain was forwarded to another Eaton in-house lawyer, Sharon O’Flaherty, and to Michael Schaalman, an outside lawyer for Eaton from Quarles & Brady in Milwaukee.
The October email string, also about contacts between Peters and DeLaughter, looped in several other Eaton attorneys, including General Counsel Mark McGuire.
Eaton continues to deny any misconduct on its part. A denial that looks more and more ridiculous every time more details are revealed in the case.
Eaton apparently is also continuing to stand behind in-house lawyer Vic Leo and outside lawyers Quarles & Brady of Milwaukee, both of whom communicated with Peters. Eaton’s sticking with these guys actually looks worse than if it didn’t. It makes it look like Eaton is worried about damage control that could result if they were to cut them loose.
Judge Weill’s Order requests that Eaton suggest the appropriate sanction against Eaton. That’s a clever move by Judge Weill, who seems to be operating at a judicial level far beyond his two years on the bench. Eaton has to come up with a suggestion that doesn’t really hurt Eaton, but doesn’t look completely ridiculous.
Here are my earlier posts on Eaton v. Frisby.