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Steak House Burned By Harsh Sanctions, Judge Rules

Law360 (January 8, 2008, 12:00 AM EST) -- A magistrate judge has revived litigation in a proposed discrimination class action against The Smith & Wollensky Restaurant Group Inc., finding that a previous sanction imposed on the steak house chain was “unnecessarily harsh.”

Just over a year after Judge Lewis Kaplan punished Smith & Wollensky for missing a deadline by precluding it from contesting liability, Magistrate Judge James Francis, IV, lifted the sanction on Monday, but required the restaurant to bear the litigation costs and attorneys' fees.

“Preclusion, like dismissal or default, is a harsh...
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