TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey magistrate judge on Feb. 10 ordered that Allstate Life Insurance Co.’s motion to compel discovery from a third party in a breach of contract suit be denied as being overly broad and not proportional to the needs of the case (Allstate Life Insurance Co. v. Jeffrey Stillwell, et al., No. 15-8251, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19087).
BROOKLYN, N.Y. — A New York federal judge on Feb. 17 found that most of Amtrak’s claims of attorney-client privilege should be sustained with some exceptions, adopting the majority of a special master’s report and recommendation in a coverage dispute over environmental contamination (Certain Underwriters at Lloyd's, et al., v. National Railroad Passenger Corp., et al., No. 14-4717, E.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 23680).
OMAHA, Neb. — A trial court properly found that a procedural notice error in the application of a warrant that led to a child pornography conviction did not prejudice the defendant, an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled Feb. 17, upholding the denial of the defendant’s motion to suppress evidence obtained via the warrant (United States of America v. Kirk Cottom, No. 16-1050, 8th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2789).
BENTONVILLE, Ark. — Citing privacy and free speech concerns, Amazon.com Inc. in a Feb. 17 motion in Arkansas court seeks to quash a police department warrant ordering production of sound recordings and transcripts associated with an Amazon Echo device belonging to the defendant in a murder case (State of Arkansas v. James A. Bates, No. CR-2016-370-2, Benton Co., Ark. Cir. Ct.).
CHICAGO — The Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Feb. 17 partly reversed a lower federal court’s ruling in favor of an insurer in a coverage dispute arising from the collapse of an airport terminal during construction (Indianapolis Airport Authority v. Travelers Property Casualty Co. of America, No. 16-2675, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2856).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — In conjunction with its pending motion for discovery to establish California jurisdiction over a former employee accused of trade secret violations, a Russian railcar company on Jan. 17 filed a proposed order in California federal court, permitting it to subpoena Google Inc. to obtain information about the defendant’s Gmail email account (OOO Brunswick Rail Management, et al. v. Richard Sultanov, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00017, N.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8374).
AUSTIN, Texas — The Texas Supreme Court refused to revisit its ruling in a hailstorm coverage dispute that directed a lower court to vacate the part of its discovery order compelling production of management reports and emails and to re-evaluate the issue of sanctions against the insurer, according to its Feb. 17 orders pronounced (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., No. 15-0452, Texas Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In light of the “staggering scale” of evidence spoliation conducted by a polymer manufacturer that was the target of an investigation by the U.S. International Trade Commission (ITC), a Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Feb. 15 upheld the commission’s imposition of discovery sanctions against the firm in the form of default judgment and an exclusion order (Organik Kimya Sav. Ve Tic., A.S., et al. v. U.S. International Trade Commission, et al., No. 15-1774 and 15-1833, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2623).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The International Trade Commission (ITC) properly barred a Turkish company from importing products using opaque paint polymers into the United States for 25 years — the harshest sanction possible — as punishment for destroying computer evidence in violation of a discovery order in a misappropriation of trade secrets investigation, the Federal Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals held Feb. 15 (Organik Kimya San ve Tic, A.S., et al. v. International Trade Commission, et al., Nos. 15-1774, 15-1833, Fed. Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 2623).
SALT LAKE CITY — A federal judge in Utah on Feb. 13 denied an insolvent insurer’s objection to a magistrate judge’s order compelling discovery of certain categories of information sought by a group of the insolvent insurer’s former directors and officers (Western Insurance Company v. Dick L. Rottman, et al., No. 13-cv-00436, D. Utah, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20709).
LOS ANGELES — A California federal judge on Feb. 14 denied a request to reopen discovery, in an effort by plaintiffs to support a renewed motion for class certification, in a multidistrict litigation challenging the marketing of pomegranate juice, finding that the plaintiffs failed to demonstrate diligence (In re: Pom Wonderful LLC Marketing and Sales Practices Litigation, No. 10-2199, C.D. Calif., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 20854).
CHICAGO — An Illinois federal judge on Feb. 9 denied a motion to bifurcate discovery issues in a case filed against lenders in relation to a property inspection, finding that bifurcating the issues could lead to additional disputes as to whether certain discovery requests related to merits or class certification (Thomas Quinn, et al. v. Specialized Loan Servicing LLC, No. 16-2021, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18351).
SEATTLE — A federal judge in Washington on Feb. 7 quashed a subpoena served on Google Inc. by Allstate Insurance Co., finding that the insurer’s request for documents related to records from email accounts associated with a law firm accused of submitting fraudulent insurance claims are shielded from discovery by the Stored Communications Act (SCA) (Allstate Insurance Co. v. Lighthouse Law P.S. Inc., et al., No. C15-1976RSL, W.D. Wash., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 17284).
MINNEAPOLIS — The trustees of Boston University on Feb. 6 told the federal judge overseeing the National Hockey League concussion multidistrict litigation that the league has failed to “demonstrate with specificity” why it needs the research and autopsy reports conducted by the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (CTE Center) and that compelling those documents would violate the privacy of the research subjects (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).
NEWARK, N.J. — A federal magistrate judge in New Jersey on Feb. 7 denied a motion to compel filed by a third-party defendant company in a Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) lawsuit seeking information from another third party, holding that information created as part of an alternative dispute resolution (ADR) process is not discoverable (New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection, et al. v. American Thermoplastics Corp., et al., No. 98-CV-4781, D. N.J., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16743).
NEW YORK — Production of electronic documents in an asbestos dispute do not satisfy discovery requests where they are not in the requested format and lack metadata, a New York justice held in an opinion posted Feb. 3 (All Craft Fabricators Inc. v. ATC Assoc. Inc.,, No. 156897/13, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.; 2017 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 323).
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on Feb. 6 found that an in camera review of an insurer’s documents requested through discovery by a disability claimant is necessary to determine if the documents are protected under the work product doctrine or if the fiduciary exception to the attorney-client privilege applies (Cherylle McFarlane v. First Unum Life Insurance Co., No. 16-7806, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16433).
PHILADELPHIA — In a Feb. 3 ruling, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate concluded that compelling Google Inc. to comply with warrants requiring production of data stored in foreign-based servers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation “does not constitute an unlawful extraterritorial application of the” Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google, No. 2:16-mj-00960 and In re Search Warrant No. 16-1061-M to Google, No. 2:16-mj-01061, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15232).
SALT LAKE CITY — A group of an insolvent insurer’s former directors and officers told a federal court in Utah on Jan. 27 that discovery of reinsurance information is relevant to their defense against the claims brought by the insolvent insurer (Western Insurance Company v. Dick L. Rottman, et al., No. 13-cv-00436, D. Utah).
LOUISVILLE, Ky. — A federal magistrate judge in Kentucky on Feb. 3 found that the owners of a tobacco farm who were sued for allegedly violating federal work visa laws will not face an undue hardship by having to depose a group of migrant workers in Mexico, denying the owners’ motion for a protective order that would prohibit the depositions from taking place in Mexico (Martin Rico Murillo, et al. v. Tracy Dillard, et al., No. 1:15-CV-00069, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15391).