Mealey's Discovery

  • January 23, 2020

    Split 9th Circuit: No Class List To Find Named Plaintiff Before Certification

    SAN FRANCISCO — A trial court erred when it applied California discovery rules in a case over bedding thread counts and ruled that the lead plaintiff could obtain a list of the proposed class members from the retailer he was suing prior to class certification being granted, a split Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Jan. 13, granting the retailer’s petition for a writ of mandamus and ordering the trial court to vacate its order (In re:  Williams-Sonoma, Inc., No. 19-70522, 9th Cir., 2020 U.S. App. LEXIS 1046).

  • January 21, 2020

    Pop Star Must Turn Over Concert Info In New York Copyright Case

    NEW YORK — In a Jan. 15 order, a federal judge in New York ruled that singer-songwriter Edward Sheeran must produce documents relating to ticket and merchandise sales at concerts where he performed “Thinking Out Loud” (TOL) (Structured Asset Sales LLC v. Edward Sheeran, et al., No. 18-5839, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8614).

  • January 17, 2020

    Government Asks 4th Circuit To Reconsider Filter Team’s Review Of Seized Files

    RICHMOND, Va. —  A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals failed to consider the proper analytical framework when it reversed a trial court’s decision to permit a government-appointed filter team to review documents seized from a law firm for potentially privileged items, the U.S. government says in a Jan. 15 petition for rehearing, asserting that the use of filter teams is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (In re:  Search Warrant Issued June 13, 2019, No. 19-1730, 4th Cir.).

  • January 16, 2020

    Bitcoin Mogul Finally Provides Compelled List Of Bitcoin Holdings

    WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Ten months after bitcoin pioneer Craig Wright was first ordered to provide a list of his bitcoin holdings in a dispute over the ownership of potentially billions of dollars’ worth of digital currency, the defendant filed a notice of compliance in Florida federal court on Jan. 14, reporting that he had provided the list to the plaintiffs that same day (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).

  • January 14, 2020

    ESI Search Method Ruling Issued In Mercedes-Benz Emissions Litigation Class Action

    NEWARK, N.J. — Addressing one of the existing discovery disputes in a class action over alleged environmental impact misrepresentation by Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, a New Jersey federal special master on Jan. 9 declined to require the automaker to use technology assisted review (TAR) in searching electronically stored information (ESI) for documents responsive to the plaintiffs’ discovery requests (In Re Mercedes-Benz Emissions Litigation, No. 2-16-cv-00881, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3781).

  • January 13, 2020

    Judge: Cleaver-Brooks Fails To Disqualify Asbestos Lawyers In Discovery Fraud Suit

    HONOLULU — There is no conflict of interest where attorneys who helped plaintiffs settle asbestos claims against Cleaver-Brooks Inc. now represent those same plaintiffs in an action accusing the company of fraudulently concealing evidence during discovery, a federal judge in Hawaii said Dec. 19 in denying a motion to disqualify (Terry N. Agena, et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks Inc., et al., No. 19-89, D. Hawaii, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221235).

  • January 13, 2020

    Employees Denied Discovery Of Personnel Files, Text Messages In FLSA Dispute

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — In rulings issued Jan. 8 and 9, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge denied discovery requests by a class of travel stop operations managers (OMs) in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime lawsuit, finding requests for personnel files and text messages to be too broad, burdensome and fraught with privacy concerns (Kristopher Lawson, et al. v. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc., No. 1:17-cv-01266, M.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3352).

  • January 10, 2020

    Mandamus Petition In Trade Secret Dispute Against Attorney Rejected

    CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 20 denied an emergency petition for writ of mandamus filed by a client of two law firms formerly worked at by an attorney who later filed a pair of lawsuits against the client, rejecting the client’s request that the panel compel a federal district court to vacate two orders it handed down and to compel the forensic imaging and search of the attorney’s computers and cellular phones pursuant to a suggested protocol (In re:  FCA US LLC, No. 19-1923, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 38167).

  • January 10, 2020

    Judge Orders Forensic Inspection Of Laptop Connected To Trade Secret Suit

    CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Dec. 23 ruled that the owner and operator of a merchandise trade statistics database is entitled to inspect and copy a forensic image of a former consultant’s laptop computer as part of discovery in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit (IHS Global Limited, et al. v. Trade Data Monitor LLC, et al., No. 18-1025, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220327).

  • January 09, 2020

    Judge Won’t Compel SEC’s Access To App Maker’s Bank Records In Digital Asset Row

    NEW YORK — An emergency motion by the Securities and Exchange Commission to compel unredacted bank records from a firm accused of securities registration violations was denied Jan. 6 by a New York federal judge, who indicated, however, that review of the records will ultimately occur (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Telegram Group Inc., et al., No. 1:19-cv-09439, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3111).

  • January 09, 2020

    New York City Transit Sued For Access To Facial Recognition Use Documents

    NEW YORK — A surveillance technology watchdog group sued New York City Transit (NYCT) in New York state court on Jan. 6, seeking to compel the agency to comply with a request under the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) for documents related to the purported use of facial recognition technology on the city’s subway system (Surveillance Technology Oversight Project v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, et al., No. 150127/20, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).

  • January 08, 2020

    Judge: Cigna May Not Assert Attorney-Client Privilege Against ERISA Plan Assignee

    DALLAS — A health care provider that sued its patients’ insurer to recover benefits on their behalf under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was granted a motion to compel certain communications between the insurer and the patients’ plan on Jan. 3, as a Texas federal judge held that the attorney-client privilege could not be invoked against the plaintiff, as the plan beneficiaries’ assignee, for plan administration documents (Advanced Physicians S.C. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 3:16-cv-02355, N.D. Texas).

  • January 08, 2020

    Asbestos Defendant Wants Sanctions Over Dumped Deposition

    SAN FRANCISCO — Asbestos plaintiffs noticed a deposition, only to cancel it the day before its scheduled date without adequate explanation, a company told a California federal judge in seeking sanctions on Dec. 26 (In re Toy Asbestos Litigation, No. 19-325, N.D. Calif.).

  • January 06, 2020

    Pest Control Firm Must Provide Some Documents In Equipment Damage Suit

    ST. PAUL, Minn. — Determining that some documents requested by a food services company against its pest control vendor were produced before there was a reasonable anticipation of litigation, a Minnesota federal magistrate judge on Jan. 2 deemed them not privileged in a negligence suit over post-fumigation damage to electrical equipment, granting in part the plaintiff’s motion to compel compliance with discovery subpoenas (S.T. Specialty Foods Inc. v. Copesan Services Inc., et al., No. 0:19-cv-00339, D. Minn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 255).

  • January 06, 2020

    Judge Orders Jurisdictional Discovery In Groundwater Contamination Case

    ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 2 ordered jurisdictional discovery in a consolidated groundwater lawsuit related to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination, ruling that although the district court lacked general or alter-ego jurisdiction, Saint-Gobain Corp. may be subject to personal jurisdiction (In re:  Hoosick Falls PFOA Cases, No. 19-220, N.D. N.Y.).

  • January 06, 2020

    Magistrate Judge Recommends Granting Motion To Enforce Subpoena On Nonparty

    MIAMI — A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Dec. 20 recommended granting a petition to enforce a subpoena that seeks the deposition of a Miami-based business owner, finding that his testimony could be relevant to a lawsuit brought by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.  in federal court in New York against 20 defendants accused of submitting false claims for no-fault benefits because the defendants sent him large sums of money during the alleged scheme (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Vladimir Maistrenko, No. 19-MC-20850-SCOLA-TORRES, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221150).

  • January 03, 2020

    Flint Plaintiffs:  Defendants May Not Increase Time For Depositions In Water Case

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Plaintiffs in the litigation pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Dec. 30 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the district court should deny a motion filed by defendants who seek additional time for their own depositions and a reduction in time allotted for the plaintiffs.  The plaintiffs contend that the defendants cite no evidence in support of their motion (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).

  • December 20, 2019

    Kazakhstan: Motion For Sanctions In Arbitration Dispute Was Filed In Bad Faith

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A motion for sanctions and contempt filed by the foreign owners of two Republic of Kazakhstan companies whose rights to explore and develop oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan was canceled “is frivolous and filed in bad faith solely for the purpose of harassment,” Kazakhstan argues in opposition filed Dec. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Anatolie Stati, et al. v. Republic of Kazakhstan, No. 14-1638, D. D.C.).

  • December 20, 2019

    Tech Company Petitions New York Court To Enforce Arbitral Subpoena Against Google

    NEW YORK — A tech company on Dec. 5 filed a petition in a New York federal court to enforce an arbitration subpoena issued to Google LLC seeking records related to an underlying arbitration dispute in which the company seeks damages from an India-based company it claims concealed the theft of its data (Consumer Software International, Inc. v. Google, LLC, No. 19-11164, S.D. N.Y.).

  • December 19, 2019

    Judge Stays Discovery Between DowDuPont, Chemours In C8 Litigation Liability Case

    WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware state court judge on Dec. 18 issued a partial bench ruling in which he stayed discovery in a lawsuit brought by the Chemours Co., a spinoff company of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which contends that DowDuPont seeks to “avoid accountability for environmental costs through a campaign of transactional engineering” related to litigation brought against it for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also called C8.  Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III did not elaborate on the reason for his decision (The Chemours Company v. DowDuPont Inc., No. 2019-0351, Del. Chanc.).