Mealey's Discovery

  • September 17, 2021

    4th Circuit:  State Secrets Privilege Required Dismissal Of Upstream Surveillance Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — A challenge by the Wikimedia Foundation to the National Security Agency’s (NSA’s) upstream surveillance activities was properly dismissed under the state secrets privilege, a divided Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel held Sept. 15, finding that the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) does not displace the privilege.

  • September 16, 2021

    California High Court Won’t Take Look At Mesothelioma Deposition Cap

    SAN FRANCISCO — The California Supreme Court on Sept. 15 denied a petition for review challenging state law limiting asbestos defendants to at most 14 hours of deposition testimony from mesothelioma sufferers.

  • September 15, 2021

    Ill. Federal Judge Limits Expert’s Testimony In Dispute Over Licensing Agreement

    CHICAGO — An expert can rely on spreadsheets created by My Pillow Inc. in its attempt to prove damages the company incurred in its licensing agreement with a distributor, which is suing the company for breach of contract, but his testimony is limited to damage calculations and he cannot opine on what caused those damages, an Illinois federal judge ruled Sept. 7.

  • September 15, 2021

    Avandia MDL Judge Orders Document Firm To Give Data To Third-Party Payers

    PHILADELPHIA — A Pennsylvania federal judge overseeing the Avandia multidistrict litigation on Sept. 10 ordered a discovery technology company to produce 17.83 million pages of documents to two remaining third-party payer plaintiffs and for the plaintiffs to pay the company $48,352 and not the $4.5 million the company quoted.

  • September 15, 2021

    Insurance Dispute Deposition Misrepresentations Appeal Sent Back To Trial Court

    DETROIT — A Michigan trial court erred in granting summary disposition in favor of an insurer in an insurance fraud dispute stemming from a claimant’s fraudulent statements made during a deposition taken in relation to her claim for personal protection insurance (PIP) benefits because the trial court’s holding that the claimant’s misstatements were material does not follow state appellate court precedent, a Michigan Court of Appeals panel ruled in reversing and remanding on Aug. 19.

  • September 13, 2021

    Fiduciary Opposes Bifurcation Of Discovery In Suit Over Insolvent Health Plan

    CHICAGO — An independent fiduciary on Aug. 10 filed an opposition to insurance brokers’ motion 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.

  • September 10, 2021

    Landowners:  Nonparty’s Motion To Quash Fracking Subpoenas Has ‘No Merit’

    CHEYENNE, Wyo. — On Sept. 9, landowners filed a brief in Wyoming federal court opposing a nonparty’s motion to quash subpoenas in an antitrust lawsuit pertaining to the monopolization of mineral rights related to hydraulic fracturing in local shale plays, contending that the motion to quash has no merit because the landowner’s counsel has worked with all parties to obtain compliance.

  • September 10, 2021

    Judge Denies Extension Of Discovery In Fracking Drinking Water Dispute

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — A judge on the Pennsylvania Environmental Hearing Board (EHB) on Aug. 24 denied a motion to extend the discovery period in a dispute between a hydraulic fracturing company and residents who argue that it is liable for water contamination issues, ruling that the residents failed to comply with the EHB’s rules governing procedural motions.

  • September 10, 2021

    Developer Investigation Data Deemed Nonprivileged In Facebook Data-Sharing Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Materials related to an app developer investigation (ADI) conducted by Facebook Inc. after the Cambridge Analytica data-sharing incident are nonprivileged and discoverable, a California federal magistrate judge held Sept. 8, finding that the investigation was conducted by non-attorneys primarily for business, not legal, purposes.

  • September 10, 2021

    Energy Company Seeks Discovery Stay In Fracking Royalty Interest Dispute

    DENVER — An energy company on Sept. 9 moved in Colorado federal court to stay discovery in a royalty interests dispute pending the resolution of the company’s motion for summary judgment seeking dismissal of a woman’s lawsuit in which she claims that the company fraudulently induced her to sell her interests.

  • September 09, 2021

    Sexual Harassment Plaintiffs Compelled To Provide Answers, Documents To University

    ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Six former graduate students who sued the University of Alaska (UA) and a former faculty member for incidents of sexual harassment must provide documents and answers in response to interrogatories and requests for production (RFPs) from the university, an Alaska federal judge ruled Sept. 2, deeming the plaintiffs’ objections to be legally insufficient and finding the information sought to be relevant to the plaintiffs’ claims.

  • September 09, 2021

    Judge Asks DHS To Clarify Use Of Deliberative Process Privilege In FOIA Dispute

    SAN FRANCISCO — Two months after oral argument was heard in California federal court on documents withheld by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in response to Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests made by the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation (ACLUF) regarding the government’s social media surveillance program, the court, in a Sept. 8 clerk’s notice docket entry, asked DHS to clarify its position on one of the invoked FOIA exemptions.

  • September 09, 2021

    Parts Maker Seeks To Drop High Court Case On Section 1782 Discovery

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A New York aerospace parts maker’s case regarding the applicability of the statute governing discovery in aid of foreign courts and tribunals on Sept. 8 was dropped from the U.S. Supreme Court’s oral arguments calendar after the parts maker submitted a letter to the high court saying it will file a motion to dismiss its case.

  • September 07, 2021

    Wikimedia, NSA Debate 9th Circuit Case’s Relevance In Upstream Surveillance Suit

    RICHMOND, Va. — Six months after the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals heard oral arguments in a dispute over whether the state secrets privilege precludes in camera review of documents that purportedly establish Wikimedia Foundation’s constitutional claims over surveillance activities of the National Security Agency (NSA), Wikimedia on Sept. 2 filed a brief arguing that a recent Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals surveillance-related suit is very different from, and therefore inapplicable to, the present case.

  • September 07, 2021

    Documents About Creation Of ADA Plan Are Privileged, Not Discoverable, Judge Rules

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Documents sought by a group of nursing home residents related to the District of Columbia’s development of an Olmstead plan under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) are predecisional and deliberative and, therefore, privileged, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled Aug. 31, denying the plaintiffs’ motion to compel them.

  • September 03, 2021

    At Parties’ Request, High Court Removes Securities Discovery Suit From Calendar

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A week after the parties in a dispute over the application of a securities discovery stay provision asked the U.S. Supreme Court to hold the case in abeyance, despite certiorari already having been granted, the high court on Sept. 2 granted the motion, removing the case from the November oral argument calendar in light of an announced settlement.

  • September 02, 2021

    With Bad Faith Claim Waived, Deposition Uncalled For, Judge In Coverage Row Says

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on Aug. 23 overruled a contractor’s objection to a magistrate judge’s finding that the contractor cannot depose an insurance company’s bad faith expert because the contractor’s bad faith claim in a long-running coverage dispute for construction defects suits has been deemed waived by the trial court and the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals.

  • September 01, 2021

    Parties To Asbestos Suit Spar Over Product ID Testimony Of Man With Dementia

    SEATTLE — A death certificate and medical records are directly relevant to the question of whether a man with dementia could competently testify about decades-old asbestos exposures, and the court should either exclude the testimony or hold a hearing on its admissibility, a friction-products defendant told a federal judge in Washington Aug. 30 in response to a motion for a protective order.

  • September 01, 2021

    Abeyance Sought In Supreme Court Cert-Granted Suit Over Securities Discovery Stay

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Even though certiorari had been granted and merits briefing was already under way in a U.S. Supreme Court suit focusing on the proper application of the discovery stay provision in the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act (Reform Act), the parties on Aug. 27 filed a motion asking the high court to remove the case from its upcoming November argument slot and to hold the case in abeyance while they finalize and seek approval of a settlement that they just reached.

  • August 31, 2021

    Deposition Transcript 1st Trigger For Asbestos Case Removal, Federal Judge Says

    NEW ORLEANS — A deposition transcript memorializing a witness’s recollection of a man’s work with Lykes Line constitutes “other paper” triggering the 30-day window for removal, an outcome not altered by the voluntary-involuntary rule, a federal judge in Louisiana said Aug. 26 in denying remand.

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