WASHINGTON, D.C. — Ten months after a prior order compelling it to produce discovery was vacated by an appeals court, the U.S. Department of the Treasury on Oct. 15 was again ordered on remand to produce purportedly privileged documents in a dispute over a terminated pension plan, with a District of Columbia federal judge finding that the underlying plaintiffs sufficiently established that their need for the documents overcame the asserted presidential communications privilege (U.S. Department of the Treasury v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. v. Dennis Black, et al., No. 1:12-mc-00100, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173769).
DETROIT — A federal magistrate judge in Michigan on Oct. 12 denied a nonparty’s motion to stay discovery and for a protective order in an insurance fraud suit on grounds that the man has not been indicted and that the U.S. Department of Justice’s investigation into his involvement with the scheme does not overlap with State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.’s lawsuit against a number of physicians and medical clinics (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Elite Health Centers Inc., et al., No. 16cv13040, E.D. Mich., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175603).
EL PASO, Texas — A Texas federal judge on Oct. 9 granted an insured’s motion to compel production of the insurer’s claim investigation file regarding one of the insured’s properties for which coverage was provided after determining that the file is relevant to the insured’s claims that the insurer breached its contract and acted in bad faith by denying coverage for another of the insured’s properties that was damaged on the same day by the same storm (Gary B. Crossland d/b/a Gold Cross Properties v. Nationwide Mutual Insurance Co., No. 18-85, W.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 173878).
SAN DIEGO — Finding that Apple Inc. did not satisfy the requirements of Federal Rule of Evidence 502(b) in its quest to claw back documents that were inadvertently submitted during discovery in a lawsuit with Qualcomm Inc. over cellphone technology royalties, a California federal magistrate judge on Oct. 2 ruled that any privilege in the documents was waived and ordered Apple to resubmit them (In re: Qualcomm Litigation, No. 3:17-cv-00108, S.D. Calif.).
ST. LOUIS — In a dispute over the mishandling of funds belonging to insolvent funeral insurers, a Missouri federal judge was recently briefed on a motion to compel discovery regarding expert witness meetings held on behalf of state insurance guaranty associations (Jo Ann Howard & Associates P.C., et al. v. J. Douglas Cassity, et al., No. 09-01252, E.D. Mo.).
HAMMOND, Ind. — Finding multiple discovery violations by the defendants in a dispute over dye and pigment trade secrets, an Indiana federal magistrate judge on Oct. 5 granted the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions in the form of default judgment, finding that the defendants “demonstrated willfulness and bad faith by acting with intentional or reckless disregard for their obligations to comply with the Court’s orders and by resisting discovery” (Apex Colors Inc. v. Chemworld International Limited Inc., et al., No. 2:14-cv-00273, N.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172436).
SAN FRANCISCO — A woman convicted of having a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old boy was severely prejudiced by being denied adequate discovery and the ability to present an expert witness at a bench trial on the plaintiff’s emotional distress claims, a California appeals court said Sept. 25. It vacated a $420,000 award to the plaintiff and remanded for limited discovery (Minor Doe 1 v. Christine Hubbs, et al., No. A143158, Calif. App., 1st Dist., Div. 3, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 6550).
OAKLAND, Calif. — In an Oct. 5 discovery status report and accompanying stipulation, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asks a California federal court to extend previously set discovery compliance dates in a lawsuit brought by Twitter Inc. over the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s domestic surveillance activities, citing the need to complete privilege logs to protect documents it says are classified (Twitter Inc. v. Jefferson B. Sessions III, et al., No. 4:14-cv-04480, N.D. Calif.).
SALT LAKE CITY — In an Oct. 5 ruling, a Utah federal magistrate judge found that Microsoft Corp.’s telemetry usage data related to the life preview feature in its Microsoft Office line of software products is discoverable in a patent infringement case because it is directly relevant to the claimed infringement and damages, granting the plaintiff’s motion to compel while mostly denying Microsoft’s motion for a protective order (Corel Software LLC v. Microsoft Corp., No. 15-528, D. Utah, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172875).
AUSTIN, Texas — In an Oct. 2 brief submitted after oral arguments, two attorney organizations urge the Texas Supreme Court to find that communications between counsel and a party’s employee who is acting as an expert witness are still protected by attorney-client privilege in a dispute over Hurricane Ike insurance coverage (In re Dickinson, No. 17-0020, Texas Sup.).
PORTLAND, Ore. — Although voicing concerns over the conduct of counsel for both sides in a trademark infringement case, an Oregon federal judge on Oct. 5 denied a defendant’s request for dismissal as a sanction (Adidas America Inc., et al. v. TRB Acquisitions LLC, No. 15-2113, D. Ore., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172602).
SAN FRANCISCO — Reversing a trial court’s ruling, a California appeals panel on Sept. 28 concluded that certain due diligence materials Uber Technologies Inc. obtained prior to acquiring a company started by former Google LLC employees were not privileged and, therefore, must be produced in an underlying arbitration proceeding against employees (Uber Technologies Inc. v. Google LLC, No. A153653, Calif App., 1st Dist., 2018 Cal. App. LEXIS 877).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — The United States on Sept. 24 told a California federal court that its ongoing grand jury investigation of the former Theranos Inc. pertains to the company only and not to former executives Elizabeth A. Holmes and Ramesh “Sunny” Balwani, who have been indicted for fraud (United States v. Elizabeth A. Holmes, et al., No. 18-cr-258, N.D. Calif., San Jose Div.).
DALLAS — After conducting a de novo review in a tortious interference case, a Texas federal judge on Sept. 26 adopted a magistrate judge’s recommendation to grant sanctions to an insolvent insurer against a defendant for failing to respond to discovery requests (Lincoln General Insurance Co. v. James Thornton Maxwell, No. 16-3198, N.D. Texas, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 165559).
WILMINGTON, Del. — In a Sept. 25 holding, a Delaware federal judge overruled the clerk of court and agreed with Volkswagen Group of America Inc. that it is entitled to costs associated with depositions of six witnesses in a patent infringement action, as well as hearing transcripts (Cloud Farm Associates LP v. Volkswagen Group of America Inc., No. 10-502, D. Del., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 163632).
TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey federal magistrate judge on Sept. 17 granted a Rutgers University student’s motion to compel Middlesex County, N.J., Prosecutor’s Office to release the contents of the entire criminal investigation file in a lawsuit alleging that he and a football player sexually assaulted another student on campus (K.L. v. Rutgers, The State University of New Jersey, et al., No. 16-9270, D. N.J.).
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — The Alaska Supreme Court on Sept. 14 vacated a trial court’s ruling that attorney invoices in relation to a city board’s decision that affirmed an approved conditional use permit for a subdivision were subject to attorney-client and work-product privilege, holding that the trial court only reviewed two invoices that had been redacted by a city manager and it reviewed none of the invoices that were withheld (Frank Griswold v. Homer City Council, et al., Nos. S-16236 & 7297, Alaska Sup.,
SALEM, Ore. — A trial court erred in relying on a statutory exception to grant defendants’ motion to compel the disclosure of discussions between a treating physician and a plaintiff who alleges that she was injured when the apartment balcony she was standing on collapsed, the Oregon Supreme Court concluded Sept. 13. On a petition for writ of mandamus, the state high court rejected the defendants’ argument that a limitation on the physician-patient privilege does not apply (Janet Hodges v. Oak Tree Realtors, Inc., et al., No. S065530, Ore. Sup., 2018 Ore. LEXIS 718).
NEW YORK — Granting in part a software company’s motion for sanctions, a New York federal magistrate judge on Sept. 19 scolded its former contractor for repeated discovery violations in a lawsuit over trade secret misappropriations, compelling the contractor to produce certain electronically stored information (ESI) and awarding the software firm attorney fees (Syntel Sterling Best Shores Mauritius Limited, et al. v. The TriZetto Group, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00211, S.D. N.Y., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 160236).
PHILADELPHIA — A federal bankruptcy court did not abuse its discretion in placing limits on how Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc. can use asbestos claimants’ information from nine bankruptcy trusts, the committees that oversee the trusts tell the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a Sept. 21 appellee brief (In re: AC&S, Inc., et al., No. 18-1951, 3rd Cir.).