TRENTON, N.J. — Most communications involving two Johnson & Johnson entities’ in-house counsel are privileged, as are in-house communications with outside public relations firms hired to assist with the onslaught of interest in litigation against the companies, a special master overseeing the federal asbestos-talc multidistrict litigation said July 26 in ruling on plaintiffs' objections to privilege claims.
BOISE, Idaho — Even though an Idaho federal judge found that a subpoena seeking the testimony of a plaintiff’s attorney would not violate the attorney-client privilege, he still granted the plaintiff’s motion to quash the subpoena on July 23, finding that it would impose an undue burden on the plaintiff.
PHILADELPHIA — A landowner on July 27 filed a brief in Pennsylvania federal court contending that a hydraulic fracturing pipeline company must provide geographic information system (GIS) mapping data related to the pipeline the company wants to build across a portion of his property, which the company seeks to condemn by invoking eminent domain under the Natural Gas Act (NGA).
SAN DIEGO — A federal magistrate judge in California on July 20 granted a third joint motion for an extension of time to produce documents in a putative class action accusing Marriott of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL) and other state statutes.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A New York parts maker tells the U.S. Supreme Court in a July 21 reply brief that its case is not moot although its challenge arose from an application for discovery for use in an arbitral hearing that concluded in May and also argues that a recent appellate ruling shows the “inconsistencies” caused when the statute governing discovery in aid of foreign proceedings is treated as inapplicable to private commercial tribunals.
LOS ANGELES — Domino’s Pizza LLC is required to bring its website into compliance with federal accessibility guidelines, a California federal judge ruled in a June 23 in chambers order, granting partial summary judgment to a blind man who sued the pizza chain for violating the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA.)
TRENTON, N.J. — Because deficiencies in the briefing make a ruling on jurisdiction over a friction-parts asbestos defendant impossible, further discovery must be done on the issue, a federal judge in New Jersey said July 15 in denying a motion to dismiss without prejudice.
CHICAGO — Insurance brokers on July 15 moved for a federal court in Illinois to bifurcate discovery in a lawsuit alleging that they breached their duty of care because they knew or should have known that a multiple employer welfare arrangement (MEWA) was not in compliance with its structural requirements and was not financially sound.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Asbestos claimants from Illinois and their counsel should not be held in contempt for violating a North Carolina federal bankruptcy court order directing the claimants to answer questions about their injuries for Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC’s estimation proceeding because they were not properly served, and their suit in Illinois to halt the discovery does not violate the bankruptcy court’s order, the claimants and counsel say in a July 14 brief in the Chapter 11 case.
SAN FRANCISCO — A narrowly tailored statute capping defendants’ time for deposing mesothelioma sufferers does not permit a trial judge to grant additional time, and substantial evidence shows that defendants were not precluded from participating, alleviating any due process concerns, a California appeals court said July 19.
NEW YORK — A Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on July 15 affirmed a district court’s ruling granting a Russian entity’s Section 1782 application for assistance obtaining discovery from a U.S. firm and its CEO for use in a treaty-based arbitration against Lithuania.
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware federal judge on July 15 declined to reconsider her earlier order allowing an Italian oil company to take discovery from Delaware entities funding a Nigerian law firm as it litigates an oil license dispute, writing that while litigation involving the parties in Italy recently ended, the oil company is still seeking the discovery for use in a pending international arbitration claim.
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. — The Tennessee Court of Appeals on July 15 denied a motion by opioid defendant Endo Pharmaceuticals Inc. to review a lower court’s default judgment in a governmental opioid case, saying that because the lower court judge left undecided further discovery sanctions, the appellate court lacks jurisdiction.
BURLINGTON, Vt. — Vermont residents on June 24 filed a brief in Vermont federal court contending that a former attorney for Saint-Gobain Performance Plastics Corp. who filed a whistleblower complaint with the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration contending that he was wrongfully terminated in retaliation for alerting the company to responsibilities it had related to drinking water contamination from perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) should be permitted to testify at a deposition because Saint-Gobain’s assertions of privilege no longer apply.
LOS ANGELES — A California appellate panel on July 7 reversed a trial court’s rulings granting a retail store’s no-merits motion and entering judgment in its favor on two consumers’ putative class action claims that the retail store violated state laws, including California’s unfair competition law (UCL), through a store “cash” program, writing that the court abused its discretion by ruling before the plaintiffs completed discovery.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. — Plaintiffs who claim that they developed ovarian cancer as a result of exposure to asbestos in consumer talc may depose the man who led Johnson & Johnson’s corporate communications department, a New Jersey judge said July 8.
CHICAGO — In a July 7 paperless order, the Maryland federal judge presiding over the consolidated class action over a massive data breach experienced by Marriott International Inc. stayed the resolution of the consumer plaintiffs’ motion to quash Marriott’s third-party discovery subpoena on a nonparty forensics firm pending resolution of the subpoena target’s own motion to quash in Illinois federal court.
LAKELAND, Fla. — A trial court did not err in concluding that a homeowners insurer must turn over a number of requested documents to an insured because the documents at issue are relevant to the insured’s bad faith claim, the Second District Florida Court of Appeal said June 30.
SAN FRANCISCO — The Legislature addressed the very complaints raised by defendants in challenging limits on asbestos depositions, recognized that other means existed to accomplish the goals of a deposition and chose to protect terminally ill mesothelioma suffers, plaintiffs told a California appeals court on July 2 in urging the court to dismiss a petition.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a July 2 ruling, a District of Columbia Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel handed a mixed victory to the FBI, finding that certain internal emails were properly withheld from production under the deliberative process privilege in response to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from the Associated Press (AP), while finding that the bureau did not establish that other materials related to an undercover operation were privileged or that their release would cause harm.