Mealey's Discovery

  • July 28, 2021

    J&J Largely Prevails In Asbestos-Talc MDL Document Privilege Spat

    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.

  • July 28, 2021

    Construction Firm’s Subpoena On Attorney In Contract Dispute Quashed By Judge

    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. 

  • July 28, 2021

    Briefly: Landowner Says Pipeline Company Must Provide Mapping Information

    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).

  • July 26, 2021

    Judge Grants Marriott Extension To Produce Discovery In Unfair Competition Suit

    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.

  • July 26, 2021

    Section 1782 Challenge Not Moot Despite Hearing’s End, High Court Told

    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.

  • July 26, 2021

    Domino’s Ordered To Make Its Website Accessible For Blind Patrons

    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.)

  • July 23, 2021

    Judge Cites Deficiencies In Briefing, Orders Jurisdictional Discovery

    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.

  • July 21, 2021

    Brokers Move To Bifurcate Discovery In Federal Suit Over Insolvent Health Plan

    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.

  • July 21, 2021

    Asbestos Claimants Battle Possible Contempt Finding In Bestwall’s Chapter 11

    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.

  • July 20, 2021

    Mesothelioma Deposition Time Cap Passes Muster, California Court Says

    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.

  • July 20, 2021

    2nd Circuit Affirms Order Of Discovery For Arbitration Against Lithuania

    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.

  • July 20, 2021

    Judge Won’t Reconsider Order Allowing Discovery In Nigerian Oil License Dispute

    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.

  • July 16, 2021

    Tennessee Appeals Court Won’t Hear Appeal Of Opioid Defendants’ Default Judgment

    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.

  • July 16, 2021

    Residents:  PFAS Whistleblower Should Testify; Privilege Issues No Longer Apply

    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.

  • July 14, 2021

    Panel Reverses Judgment Against Putative Class, Citing ‘Disparity In Discovery’

    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.

  • July 12, 2021

    Judge:  Asbestos-Talc Plaintiffs May Depose Ex-J&J Communications Director

    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. 

  • July 12, 2021

    Motion To Quash Third-Party Subpoena Stayed In Marriott Data Breach Suit

    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.

  • July 09, 2021

    Homeowners Insurer Must Turn Over Requested Documents In Bad Faith Dispute

    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.

  • July 07, 2021

    California Court Told Asbestos Deposition Time Challenge Built On ‘Fallacies’

    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.

  • July 07, 2021

    D.C. Circuit: FBI Properly Withheld Some Documents In AP FOIA Request Suit

    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.