Mitchell v. ARCO Industrial Sales
Mitchell v. ARCO Industrial Sales, 2023 UT App 70 (Oliver, J.)
Mitchell appealed the district court’s ruling barring him from presenting damages as a sanction for failing to file supplemental discovery disclosures required by Utah Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a)(1)(c). ARCO cross-appealed challenging the district court’s decision to strike their Answer and Counterclaim as a sanction for their violation of the court’s discovery orders. The Utah Court of Appeals reversed in part and affirmed in part, holding:
- Mitchell met his appellate burden of showing a plausible basis to rule in his favor, and it did not need to resolve his arguments on the merits.
- ARCO’s deficient briefing contained no reviewable challenge to the district court’s conclusions.
- Practice tip: A court may rule in favor of an appellant for purposes of that case if the appellee inadequately briefs an argument and the appellant provides a plausible basis for reversal. A non-merits decision is not intended to have precedential value.