Digital Altitude discovery contains “glaring omissions and inadequacies”
As of a Status Report filed by the FTC on August 7th, discovery provided by Digital Altitude, Michael Force and Mary Dee is riddled with “glaring omissions and inadequacies.”
Last we checked in on Digital Altitude, Force and Dee’s attorneys quit and they’d been denied use of victim funds for legal costs.
Since then Force and Dee have yet to retain new counsel.
Defendant Dee has informed the FTC that, while she is interviewing attorneys to represent Thermography, she does not plan to obtain counsel for herself.
Defendant Force has stated that he intends to obtain counsel for both himself and Digital Altitude LLC.
An August 13th deadline has been set for Digital Altitude, Force and Dee have until August 13th to retain new counsel.
Just before they were granted leave to quit the case, Digital Altitude, Force and Dee’s lawyers informed the court that
it is the Defendants’ intention to respond to all outstanding discovery…on or before the close of business on July 27, 2018.
According to the FTC, discovery was received on July 27th, however
as of Sunday, August 5, 2018, those responses were still incomplete and extremely limited.
Among other problems, the Interrogatory responses from Michael Force and Digital Altitude have not been signed under penalty of perjury.
After the Receiver informed Michael Force he had access to his “Digital Altitude email and files” and had an obligation to produce them, Force transferred a “large file” to the FTC on August 6th.
As of yet however the FTC has been unable to “download and view the files”.
Mary Dee provided the FTC with requested discovery “near midnight on July 27th”.
The documents Dee provided however were “unsigned and undated”, which wasn’t rectified until August 6th.
Like Force, the Receiver informed Dee he had access to her “Digital Altitude email and files”, which prompted additional production on August 6th.
The FTC claims Dee’s additional production is not complete.
Thermography For Life has failed to provide the FTC with accounting documents or “payments received or paid … on behalf of Digital Altitude”.
Asserting that they are “sensitive” to the fact Force, Dee and Thermography for Life are currently without counsel, the FTC nonetheless points out “the extreme delay” the defendants have “already caused”.
The Status Report recommends the court maintain a scheduled August 22nd hearing, at which the FTC’s motion to compel will be heard.
If discovery is satisfied prior to the hearing, the FTC has stated it will inform the court.
Otherwise it looks like Force and Dee are set to be grilled in court on August 22nd.
At this stage I’m not sure if the hiring of new counsel between now and the 22nd might result in the hearing being pushed back.
One other interesting development the FTC reveal is, whereas settlement negotiations had broken down as of July 21st, on or around July 26th Force and Dee told the FTC they were “interested in settlement”.
Although settlement communications have resumed, a final resolution of this matter by settlement remains uncertain.
To recap, Digital Altitude, Force and Dee have until August 13th to find new counsel. Then there’s a scheduled hearing on their discovery production deficiencies on August 22nd.
Update August 23rd 2018 – Pending ongoing communication between the parties regarding discovery issues, the FTC requested the August 22nd hearing be postponed.
On August 20th the hearing was postponed till September 12th as requested.
Update September 13th 2018 – The FTC is satisfied with produced discovery after August 23rd. The September 12th hearing was thus vacated as per a September 10th order.