FRESNO, Calif. — Mostly granting a motion by the federal government to compel production of documents containing the handwriting and signature of a decedent in a wrongful death lawsuit, a California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 2 found that the production would not violate the right against self-incrimination of the decedent’s family members under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (Maricela Laurino, et al. v. United States, No. 1:18-cv-00636, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207461).
NEW YORK — A New York justice in an opinion posted Dec. 3 found that the state lacked jurisdiction over an Illinois woman’s asbestos-talc case, but said the allegations warrant further jurisdictional discovery (Karlene Holleman v. Avon Products Inc., et al., No. 190077/2018, N.Y. Sup., New York Co., 2019 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 6320).
CINCINNATI — An Ohio federal magistrate judge on Dec. 2 found that compensation documents requested by a neurosurgeon from the consultants and accountants of companies he is suing for employment discrimination are not protected by attorney-client privilege, mostly granting his motion to compel and denying the defendants’ motions to quash (Set Shahbabian M.D. v. TriHealth Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-00790, S.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206939).
PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge on Dec. 2 mostly granted a motion by Aetna Inc. to compel a neonatal health services provider to provide discovery of a electronically stored information (ESI) from broader search terms and a larger roster of custodians, deeming most of the information sought relevant and proportionate to the fraud claims against the company (Aetna Inc., et al. v. Mednax Inc., et al., No. 2:18-cv-02217, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 206984).
MIAMI — A company involved in the bitcoin industry on Nov. 26 filed its opposition to a dismissal motion brought by two of the 12 defendants it alleges conspired to dominate the cryptocurrency market, telling a Florida federal court that jurisdictional discovery should be considered to counter the foreign defendants’ argument that the court lacks personal jurisdiction over them (United American Corp. v. Bitmain Inc., et al., No. 1:18-cv-25106, S.D. Fla.).
TACOMA, Wash. — A federal judge in Washington on Nov. 20 denied a motion to compel production of certain documents filed by plaintiffs in a consumer class action lawsuit against two insurers and a company that provides them with vehicle valuations for paying total-loss vehicle claims, ruling that the information sought by the plaintiffs is irrelevant or “of only marginal relevance” to their claims (Cameron Lundquist, et al. v. First National Insurance Company of America, et al., No. 18-5301, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 201550).
OAKLAND, Calif. — A California federal judge on Nov. 25 denied a disability claimant’s request to conduct discovery after determining that the claimant failed to prove that additional evidence is necessary to conduct an adequate de novo review (Natalya Vigdorchik v. Liberty Life Assurance Company of Boston, et al., No. 19-3891, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 204512).
AKRON, Ohio — A federal judge in Ohio on Nov. 21 ruled that a company that develops self-inflating tire technology is required to supply a “closed” response to an interrogatory filed by defendants in a patent inventorship and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit describing in sufficient detail what trade secrets were alleged orally disclosed to the defendants in two 2009 meetings set up to discuss the parties’ potential partnership in the commercialization of the plaintiff’s technology (CODA Development s.r.o., et al. v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Company, et al., No. 15-1572, N.D. Ohio, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202114).
SALT LAKE CITY — A health insurer cannot avoid discovery in a case alleging that its improperly denied coverage for mental health and substance abuse treatment simply because there is a pending summary judgment motion, a federal magistrate judge held Nov. 21 (Robert L., et al. v. Cigna Health & Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 18-976, D. Utah, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 202914).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Three months after a Florida federal magistrate judge found that the defendant in a multibillion-dollar bitcoin ownership dispute had engaged in sanctionable discovery conduct, the plaintiffs on Nov. 20 submitted a motion for $658,581 in expenses and attorney fees that they claim to have incurred in conjunction with the discovery matters at issue (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).
PHILADELPHIA — A motion to compel appears to be an attempt to smuggle in follow-up interrogatories, but a second company’s responses are a “non-sequitur” and must be clarified, a federal magistrate judge in Pennsylvania said in Nov. 21 asbestos litigation rulings (In re: Asbestos Products Liability Litigation, Robert J. Kraus, et al. v. Alcatel-Lucent, et al., No. 18-2119, E.D. Pa., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 200883).
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. — Automobile friction parts defendant Honeywell International Inc. on Nov. 20 asked a federal judge to reconsider his Nov. 18 ruling requiring it to produce all documents relating to asbestos litigation filed against the company before 2002 (Jack Papineau, et al. v. Brake Supply Company Inc., et al., No. 18-168, W.D. Ky.).
SAN FRANCISCO — Denying a motion for partial summary judgment by the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), a California federal judge on Nov. 18 found that the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not meet its burden to invoke a “Glomar response” to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request in which the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLUF) sought production of documents and information related to the bureau’s social media surveillance techniques (American Civil Liberties Union Foundation, et al. v. U.S. Department of Justice, et al., No. 3:19-cv-00290, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 199607).
CHICAGO — Rule 37 sanctions are not warranted in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit against a former customer of a stored energy solutions provider that is alleged to have breached the terms of a contract between the parties by using the provider’s trade secrets in marketing its product line without the provider’s permission and without paying the necessary royalties for the usage, the provider argues in a Nov. 14 opposition brief filed in Illinois federal court (LiiON LLC v. Vertiv Group Corp., et al., No. 18-6133, N.D. Ill.).
SEATTLE — Discovery must be reopened after an asbestos plaintiff died just days before its close and months after experts were disclosed, a federal judge in Washington said Oct. 28 (William R. Clayton, et al. v. Air & Liquid Systems Corp., et al., No. 18-748, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 192150).
DETROIT — A federal judge in Michigan on Nov. 7 partially granted and partially denied a motion for a protective order sought by three former employees of the city of Flint in the litigation pertaining to the city’s lead-contaminated water crisis, ruling that discovery in the case will proceed and the defendants may not assert their Fifth Amendment rights in advance. The judge granted the defendants’ request to limit attendance at the deposition and to temporarily seal the defendants’ written discovery and depositions (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
TRENTON, N.J. — Over the objections of an insurer, a New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on Nov. 12 allowed seriously ill asbestos disease sufferers to sidestep the automatic stay in the Chapter 11 case of Duro Dyne National Corp. so they can be deposed before they die (In re: Duro Dyne National Corp., et al., No. 18-27963, D. N.J. Bkcy.).
HOUSTON — A trial court abused its discretion in refusing to abate discovery on an insured’s statutory extracontractual claims against an auto insurer because there has been no finding that the auto insurer is contractually obligated to pay underinsured motorist benefits to the insured, the First District Texas Court of Appeals said Nov. 5 (In re: Colonial County Mutual Insurance Co., No. 01-19-00391, Texas App., 1st Dist., 2019 Tex. App. LEXIS 9649).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal magistrate judge on Nov 8 denied an insurer’s motion to compel production of documents from reinsurers over allocation and billing of a 2009 settlement with an insured because “the relevance of the materials sought is too speculative” (Certain London Market Company Reinsurers v. Lamorak Insurance Co., No. 18-10534, D. Mass.).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate judge delivered a mixed ruling for Facebook Inc. in a Nov. 7 discovery order, sustaining the social network’s objection to disclosing its source code to one of the proposed expert witnesses for a putative class suing it over scraping certain data from Android mobile devices, while finding that there was no risk of harm in disclosure to a second witness (Lawrence Olin, et al. v. Facebook Inc., No. 3:18-cv-01881, N.D. Calif.).