What a bad start to a Tuesday morning:
District courts must have the authority to control their dockets. Just as citizens must obey laws, lawyers and parties must obey orders. Only then can our courts administer a system of justice. Renec Ulysse’s lawyer failed to heed repeated warnings from the district court to limit his witnesses, describe their testimony, and identify his exhibits. So, the district court dismissed the case with prejudice.
The remand to the district court in no way suggests that counsel’s actions were anything less than brazenly disobedient. Counsel directly violated several orders from the district court. The path taken by counsel—persistent defiance—is never appropriate. But even though plaintiff’s counsel engaged in reproachful conduct, the district court was required to consider whether lesser sanctions may have been adequate before it dismissed the action with prejudice.
Accordingly, we vacate the district court’s dismissal with prejudice and remand to the district court
so it may open a can of whoop ass the likes of which Ulysse's attorney has never seen before and will never see againto consider whether lesser sanctions are appropriate.