SAN FRANCISCO — A law firm retained privilege over a former asbestos attorney’s work product and was not required to obtain his permission before disclosing emails between him and a scientific consulting firm, a California appeals court held June 21 (Tucker Ellis v. The Superior Court of City and County of San Francisco, Evan C. Nelson, No. A148956, Calif. App., 1st Dist., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 571).
CHICAGO — A federal magistrate judge in Illinois on June 20 denied a motion to compel filed by defendants in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit, ruling that the plaintiff has agreed to provide certain information to the defendants as soon as it is located (PolyOne Corp. v. Yun Martin Lu, et al., No. 14-10369, N.D. Ill., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94508).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A U.S Court of Federal Claims judge on June 14 granted in part a renewed motion for discovery filed by former General Motors Corp. auto dealer franchisees that claim that the U.S. government’s action in connection with the GM bailout amounted to a taking of their franchise agreements without just compensation (Colonial Chevrolet Co. Inc., et al. v. United States, No. 1:10-cv-647, Fed. Clms., 2017 U.S. Claims LEXIS 692).
CHICAGO — Asbestos claimants in the Chapter 11 case of defunct boiler manufacturer Oakfabco Inc. got a boost in their efforts to maximize their potential recoveries from the company June 8 when an Illinois federal bankruptcy judge granted their request to conduct discovery into the debtor’s 2009 sale of its remaining operating assets (In re: Oakfabco, Inc., No. 15-27062, N.D. Ill. Bkcy.).
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas federal judge on June 19 denied a motion for expedited discovery filed by restaurant franchisors, saying that they will receive the information they seek when the defendant files a written update with the court (Stockade Cos. LLC, et al. v. Kelly Restaurant Group LLC, No. 1:17-cv-143, W.D. Texas, 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94097).
OKLAHOMA CITY — Parties in a misappropriation of trade secrets lawsuit are required to provide each other with certain discovery information relating to a former employees’ departure from a company and subsequent hiring and duties with a direct competitor, a federal judge in Oklahoma ruled June 16 in granting each party’s motion to compel in part (Maxum Petroleum Inc. v. Stephen Hiatt, et al., No. 17-287, W.D. Okla., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 92719).
SAN FRANCISCO —Facebook Inc. on June 19 moved to renew a motion to stay discovery in a putative class action alleging that the social network violated Illinois’ Biometric Information Privacy Act (BIPA), which it originally filed in California federal court in February, arguing that a pending Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling could be dispositive of disputed jurisdictional questions and could moot the plaintiffs’ discovery requests (In re Facebook Biometric Information Privacy Litigation, No. 3:15-cv-03747, N.D. Calif.).
COLUMBUS, Ohio — An Ohio magistrate judge on June 7 granted a plaintiff beer distributor’s motion to compel discovery in a franchise agreement dispute between the distributor and brewing companies, saying that information regarding the manner in which the defendant brewing companies have interpreted and/or enforced provisions in their franchise agreement with other distributors is relevant to the case (Southern Glazer’s Distributors of Ohio, LLC v. The Great Lakes Brewing Co., et al., No. 2:16-cv-861, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87365).
SANTA ANA, Calif. — In a pair of supplemental memoranda filed June 13 in California federal court, Vizio Inc. and a putative class of owners of its smart TVs argue over the proper definition of the term “tracked data” as it relates to the plaintiffs’ wiretap and privacy claims over Vizio’s alleged collection of viewer data, as well as to the scope of plaintiffs’ discovery requests (In Re: Vizio, Inc., Consumer Privacy Litigation, No. 8:16-ml-02693, C.D. Calif.).
NEW YORK — A company waived privilege over a redacted attorney-client memo providing advice involving the asbestos-cement pipe business due to its repeated disclosure concessions, but the company’s more strenuous efforts regarding an unredacted version keeps it privileged, a New York appeals court held June 15 (Richard Warren v. Amchem Products Inc., et al., No. 4297, 190281/2014, N.Y. Sup., App. Div., 1st Dept., 2017 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 4808).
CLEVELAND — Expert testimony attributing a man’s mesothelioma to cumulative exposure to asbestos in automobile brakes simply dresses up the theory that every exposure leads to disease in new clothing and is inadmissible under Ohio law, a manufacturer and its amici curiae told the state’s highest court on June 15 (Mark Schwartz, et al. v. Honeywell International Inc., et al., No. 2016-1372, Ohio Sup.).
ATLANTA — In a case over fraudulent transfers of reinsurance funds, a Georgia federal judge granted in part insurers’ motion to compel on June 12, ordering a reinsurer to provide missing tax documents to the insurers (Canal Insurance Co. and Canal Indemnity Co. v. Golden Isles Reinsurance Company Ltd,, et al., No. 15-cv-03331, N.D. Ga.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal bankruptcy judge on June 6 issued a scheduling order for fact discovery and identification of expert witnesses in a dispute between Chapter 11 debtor Rapid-American Corp. and one of its insurers over whether a policy has a $7 million or $14 million limit for asbestos liability claims (Rapid-American Corporation, et al. v. Travelers Casualty and Surety Company, et al., No. 15-01095, S.D. N.Y. Bkcy.).
CHILLICOTHE, Ohio — An Ohio appeals panel on May 31 dismissed an appeal from Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Co.’s over the denial of its motion to stay discovery in a suit accusing a couple of intentionally setting fire to their home to collect insurance proceeds, finding that the ruling does not require the insurer to produce privileged documents (Nationwide Mutual Fire Insurance Company v. Mark Jones, et al., No. 15CA3709, Ohio App., 4th Dist., 2017 Ohio App. LEXIS 2300).
AUSTIN, Texas — A Texas Supreme Court majority on June 9 granted an insurer’s petition for mandamus in a discovery dispute, finding that a trial court and an appeals court abused their discretion by granting a group of insured’s request for billing records from other cases in the same multidistrict litigation because such records are protected from discovery as work product (In Re National Lloyds Insurance Co., Wardlaw Claims Service Inc. and Ideal Adjusting Inc., No. 15-0591, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 522).
LINCOLN, Neb. — A reinsured writes in a June 7 letter to a Nebraska federal court that its discovery responses regarding a promissory note and a reinsurance participation agreement were not deficient (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Top’s Personnel Inc., No. 15CV90, D. Neb.).
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on June 2 granted a disability insurer’s motion for a protective order after determining that the insurer demonstrated that the public disclosure of the information would be valuable to its competitors and place it at a competitive disadvantage (David Robert Aitken v. Aetna Life Insurance Co., No. 16-4606, S.D. N.Y., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88181).
WILMINGTON, N.C. — Although the defendant in a libel suit was negligent in failing to preserve the internet browser histories of its employees for discovery purposes, a North Carolina federal magistrate judge on June 7 found no evidence of intentional conduct that would merit the sanction of adverse jury instructions sought by the plaintiff (Frederic N. Eshelman v. Puma Biotechnology Inc., No. 7:16-cv-00018, E.D. N.C., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87282).
SAN FRANCISCO — Although a law firm representing the victim of an embezzlement scheme in a civil suit cooperated with the prosecutors in a criminal case against the embezzler, a California appeals panel on June 5 found that the firm could not be considered part of the prosecution team and, thus, could not be compelled to comply with discovery requests under the requirements of Brady v. Maryland (IAR Systems Software Inc., et al. v. The Superior Court of San Mateo County, et al., No. A149087, Calif. App. 1st Dist., 2017 Cal. App. LEXIS 512).
MINNEAPOLIS — The National Hockey League (NHL) on June 5 asked the federal judge overseeing the NHL concussion multidistrict litigation to deny the Boston University Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Center (CTE Center)’s motion for attorney fees because the center has not shown that its legal costs would “have been substantially lower if the NHL’s motion to compel had been limited only to those requests that were ultimately granted by the Court” (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).