NEWARK, N.J. — A federal judge on June 20 declined to stay discovery into a plaintiff law firm’s referral deal in a New Jersey federal court case alleging that BASF Catalysts LLC and its law firm conspired to destroy evidence of asbestos contamination in talc (Kimberlee Williams, et al. v. BASF Catalysts LLC., et al., No. 11-1754, D. N.J.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Allegations by two residential real estate photographers that the real estate software provider for a multiple listing service (MLS) violated the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) by removing their copyright management information (CMI) were properly rejected on summary judgment, the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruled June 20 (Robert Stevens, et al. v. CoreLogic Inc., No. 16-56089, 9th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 16620).
INDIANAPOLIS — In light of a defendant’s showing of relevance and the plaintiffs’ failure to establish privilege, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on June 14 concluded that a Facebook instant message string between two named plaintiffs was not covered by a protective order in a putative class action over pension plan administrative fees, leading him to mostly grant a motion to compel (Mary Bell, et al. v. Pension Committee of ATH Holding Company LLC, et al., No. 1:15-cv-02062, S.D. Ind.).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In two putative class actions over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), a California federal magistrate judge on June 14 ordered an insurance agency to produce nonprivileged, responsive information requested by a reinsurer and its affiliates (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., Nos. 16-00158 & 16-01211, E.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 100158).
NEW ORLEANS — A Louisiana federal judge on June 13 ordered a disability insurer to supplement its answers to a disability claimant’s interrogatories to include communications with all attorneys consulted regarding the participant’s claim for benefits (Anne Wittmann v. Unum Life Insurance Company of America, No. 17-9501, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 99042).
RICHMOND, Va. — Discovery sanctions in a trade secrets misappropriation lawsuit are not warranted because a door skin manufacturer failed to show that its competitor violated any discovery orders requiring it to state with the requisite specificity what trade secrets it sought to present as part of its counterclaims for state and federal trade secret violations, a federal judge in Virginia ruled June 11 (Steves & Sons Inc. v. JELD-WEN Inc., No. 16-0545, E.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 98533).
NEW YORK — Two automakers did not file timely objections to an order requiring them to respond to jurisdictional discovery requests, but regardless, the motions are at least likely to produce admissible evidence, a New York justice held in an opinion posted June 12 and affirming a special master’s ruling (In re: NYCAL, Yang-Ning Pi Chen, et al. v. Aerco International Inc., et al., No. 190133/2017, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2018 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2200).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — In a South Carolina federal court dispute involving a bank sued for its role as trustee of a reinsurance trust for an insolvent insurer, an insurer in a June 7 filing opposes the bank’s motion to compel the identity and production of documents related to damages (Accident Insurance Company Inc. v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al., No. 16-2621, D. S.C.).
ORLANDO, Fla. — A telecommunications firm failed to establish its assertions of attorney-client and work product privilege in certain documents sought via discovery in a breach of contract suit brought by a former client, a Florida federal magistrate judge ruled June 12, mostly granting the plaintiff’s motion to compel production of documents related to the telecom’s defenses and counterclaims (Local Access LLC v. Peerless Network Inc., No. 6:17-cv-00236, M.D. Fla., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97955).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal magistrate judge on June 8 found that a patent owner’s counsel did not waive attorney-client privilege regarding certain proceedings before the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) over a water park ride patent, partly denying a motion to compel his deposition but granting the defendant’s motion related to nonprivileged communications and requests for production (RFPs) (Whitewater West Industries Ltd. v. Pacific Surf Designs Inc., et al., No. 3:17-cv-01118, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96970).
CINCINNATI — Finding that a trade secrets plaintiff repeatedly failed to “play by the rules” of discovery, despite multiple judicial orders and warnings, a Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on June 1 affirmed a trial court’s discovery sanctions in the form of attorney fees awards and dismissal of the lawsuit (ECIMOS LLC, et al. v. Nortek Global HVAC LLC, et al., No. 17-6067, 17-6123, 17-6124 and 17-6125, 6th Cir., 2018 U.S. App. LEXIS 14940).
ST. LOUIS — In a dispute over the mishandling of funds belonging to insolvent funeral insurers, a Missouri federal judge on June 8 denied a special deputy receiver’s motion for protective order as to documents and communications relating to any assumption reinsurance agreements (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96627).
OLYMPIA, Wash. — Records containing trade secrets are not categorically excluded from public disclosure under Washington’s Public Records Act (PRA), and a state superior court erred in applying the state’s general injunction standard and not the PRA’s “more stringent standard,” a divided Washington Supreme Court ruled May 31 in reversing and remanding (Lyft Inc. et al. v. Seattle, et al., No. 94026-6, Wash. Sup., 2018 Wash. LEXIS 350).
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A Kansas magistrate judge overseeing the EpiPen multidistrict litigation on May 31 ordered nonparty United Healthcare Services Inc. and its pharmacy benefit manager Optum Rx. Inc. to produce rebate and incentive information that plaintiffs say may show anti-competitive practices with EpiPen manufacturer Mylan N.V. (In Re: EpiPen [Epinephrine Injection, USP] Sales Practices and Antitrust Litigation, MDL Docket No. 2785, No. 17-md-2785, United Healthcare Services, Inc. v. Consumer Class Plaintiffs, No. 18-md-205, D. Kan.).
DETROIT — A Michigan federal judge on June 1 upheld a magistrate judge’s order permitting a disability claimant to conduct limited discovery on the number of times a disability insurer employed a specific doctor to complete medical reviews of long-term disability claims because the claimant made “a sufficient predicate showing” to warrant the limited discovery (Precious Robert Johnson v. Harleysville Life Insurance Co., No. 17-10321, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92833).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A federal judge in the District of Columbia on June 1 ordered the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request from a group seeking records that administrator Scott Pruitt relied upon when publicly stating that human activity was not the largest factor driving climate change, holding that the request was unduly burdensome (Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility v. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, No 17-652, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91367).
CLEVELAND — A Ohio appellate court majority on May 24 reversed a lower court’s ruling that denied a nursing home’s motion for a protective order and compelled it to provide discovery of records pertaining to a nonparty nursing home resident who allegedly fatally assaulted another resident, remanding for an in camera review of the documents to determine whether they are undiscoverable (David Howell, Jr. v. Park East Care & Rehabilitation, et al., No. 106041, Ohio App., 8th Dist., 2018 Ohio App. LEXIS 2225).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Republican strategist Roger Stone each filed briefs May 31, opposing a jurisdictional discovery request in a lawsuit over the 2016 hack of the Democratic National Committee’s (DNC’s) database, asserting that the discovery sought by the plaintiffs, whose personally identifiable information (PII) was stolen and posted online, is overbroad and untimely (Roy Cockrum, et al. v. Donald J. Trump For President Inc., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01370, D. D.C.).
WILMINGTON, N.C. — A federal judge in North Carolina on May 25 granted a motion by a group of plaintiffs seeking to conduct discovery on a premises of a chemical plant operated by a subsidiary of E.I. DuPont de Nemours & Co. as part of a lawsuit against the company and is affiliates alleging they are liable for groundwater contamination (Brunswick County, North Carolina v. DowDuPont Inc., et al., No. 17-209, E.D. N.C.).
SEATTLE — With another eight months before discovery closes, a plaintiff should be provided the opportunity to continue developing her asbestos case against a named defendant, a federal judge in Washington held May 25 in denying summary judgment without prejudice (Donald Varney, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-5105, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88225).