Mealey's Discovery

  • June 15, 2022

    Anonymous Tweeter Asks High Court To Decide Standard For Unmasking Doe Defendants

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Appealing a trial court’s issuing of a subpoena to identify her in an underlying defamation lawsuit and asserting her right to speak anonymously online, a Jane Doe defendant filed a petition for certiorari with the U.S. Supreme Court on June 7, asking the court to provide a nationwide standard for compelling Does’ identities instead of the existing “patchwork of standards of review among federal courts.”

  • June 14, 2022

    Magistrate Judge Says Additional Discovery Not Warranted In Disability Suit

    NEW YORK — A disability claimant is not entitled to seek discovery beyond the administrative record because the claimant failed to provide any support for the allegation that the disability insurer operated under a financial conflict of interest that influenced the denial of her claim for long-term disability benefits, a New York federal magistrate judge said June 10.

  • June 14, 2022

    Judge: Health Insurance Class Must Produce Members, Not Attorney Communications

    HARRISBURG, Pa. — Counsel for a class of individuals allegedly deceived by the marketing about the extent of a health insurance plan’s out-of-network coverage must produce class members and potential class members, but communications between those individuals and lawyers are protected, a federal judge in Pennsylvania said June 3.

  • June 13, 2022

    High Court Nixes Section 1782 Discovery For Nongovernmental Foreign Arbitrations

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Resolving a circuit split, the U.S. Supreme Court on June 13 in two consolidated cases reversed two courts and ruled that district court assistance with discovery is not available to private commercial arbitrations or ad hoc international arbitral tribunals, holding that the statute applies only to foreign tribunals imbued with governmental authority.

  • June 13, 2022

    Supreme Court Rebuffs State Secrets Privilege Question In NSA Surveillance Row

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A lower court’s ruling disposing of claims under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) and the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) over the National Security Agency’s domestic data-collection activities will stand, with the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision on June 13 to deny a group of U.S. citizens’ petition for certiorari in which they questioned whether either statute displaced the state secrets privilege in their suit.

  • June 13, 2022

    Discovery Sanctions, Summary Judgment Ruling Issued In Meta Data-Harvesting Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — Meta Platforms Inc. was handed a mixed victory on June 6 when a California federal magistrate judge partly granted its motions for spoliation sanctions and partial summary judgment in a suit in which the social network operator brings claims for computer fraud and unfair competition against a consulting firm that scraped user data from Facebook.

  • June 10, 2022

    Capital One Hacker Denied Access To Unredacted Expert Witness Emails

    SEATTLE — A former Amazon Web Services Inc. employee who is on trial for computer fraud in connection with hacking the computer systems of Capital One Financial Corp. was denied full access to unredacted emails of two of the government’s expert witnesses on June 8, with a Washington federal judge finding that the defendant did not establish that the withheld portions contained any information upon which the witnesses relied, thus leaving the emails protected under the work product doctrine intact.

  • June 10, 2022

    Summary Judgment Sought In Reinsurance Row; Parties Also File Motions To Exclude

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — A reinsurer on June 7 filed a motion and 146-page brief seeking summary judgment on all claims and counterclaims in a breach of contract dispute over reinsurance billings, telling an Alabama federal court that “no genuine issue of material fact exists” and arguing in part that the insurer failed to apply the plain language of the contracts and to uphold its obligations.

  • June 09, 2022

    Judge Sets Hearing, Appoints Ethics Expert For Asbestos Pathology Testing Spat

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A dispute over whether and to what extent defendants in an asbestos action may perform testing on pathology materials will come before a California judge on June 10 after the judge appointed an expert on biomedical ethics in what is at least the second such challenge in the court.

  • June 09, 2022

    Fracking Operators Seek To Compel Leaseholders To Produce Documents

    COLUMBUS, Ohio — Hydraulic fracturing companies on June 1 moved in Ohio federal court seeking to compel leaseholders with royalty rights to produce certain documents that pertain to the leases among the parties in a dispute over whether the fracking operators trespassed on the leaseholders’ property.

  • June 08, 2022

    Motion To Quash Third-Party Subpoena In Microcaptive Insurance Case Put On Hold

    SAN ANTONIO — In a June 7 text-only order, a federal judge in Texas granted the government’s motion to hold in abeyance a motion to quash a third-party subpoena served during discovery in a tax attorney’s suit fighting penalties assessed against her in connection with the establishment of microcaptive insurance companies.

  • June 08, 2022

    State Attorney-Client Privilege Law Does Not Apply In Water Damage Suit

    SEATTLE — A federal magistrate judge in Washington on May 26 declined to apply Washington law of attorney-client privilege and conduct an in camera review to determine whether an insurer has appropriately withheld certain documents based on attorney-client privilege in a builders risk insurance dispute over the insurer’s denial of claims related to damages sustained to two buildings under construction.

  • June 08, 2022

    Initial Settlement Approval, Seal Sought In Remanded IPO Securities Fraud Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — The plaintiffs in a securities fraud suit that was voluntarily removed from the U.S. Supreme Court’s docket after being granted certiorari for a question over a discovery stay in securities litigation filed a motion on June 2 to seal the “blow provision” within the proposed $2.75 million settlement of putative class claims under the Securities Act.

  • June 07, 2022

    FBI, DOJ Prevail In FOIA Deliberative Process Privilege Dispute With The AP

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — The FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) prevailed in the third round of summary judgment motions in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) dispute with the Associated Press (AP), with a District of Columbia federal judge on June 3 finding that the government agencies properly invoked the deliberative process privilege because they had demonstrated “the precise damage” that would occur if claimed privileged documents were disclosed.

  • June 01, 2022

    Defendant Exits Bartender Asbestos Case; 2nd Fights Employment Record Subpoena

    NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge in Louisiana on May 26 granted a defendant’s unopposed motion for summary judgment in a take-home asbestos case brought by a former bartender while being told by a second defendant to quash a subpoena seeking employment records that include private information that the owners do not wish released.

  • June 01, 2022

    Parties Battle Over Discovery Issues In Reinsurance Breach Of Contract Suit

    MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Discovery battles continue in a breach of contract dispute over reinsurance billings, with replies filed May 23 and May 31 in an Alabama federal court concerning, respectively, the reinsurer’s motion to compel testimony and the insurer’s motion to compel production of documents.

  • May 31, 2022

    Parties Dispute Discovery Planning Conference Request In Declaratory Judgment Suit

    BOSTON — In filings dated May 9 and May 20, the parties in a declaratory judgment suit regarding a stock purchase agreement (SPA) and reinsurance agreement dispute the plaintiff’s request that a Massachusetts federal court order a discovery planning conference, with the defendant arguing that holding such a conference “is not practicable” because of its pending motion to dismiss and issues raised in that motion.

  • May 27, 2022

    Opioid Settlement Didn’t End Sanctions Threat For Arnold & Porter, Judge Says

    CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — A New York state court judge on May 25 ruled that defense firm Arnold & Porter Kaye Scholer LLP did not escape civil contempt sanctions for discovery violations after an underlying opioid lawsuit settled but agreed to review related defense documents in camera before making a decision.

  • May 26, 2022

    Judge Allows More Discovery In UCL, Patent Dispute Between Meat Substitute Makers

    SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal judge on May 24 granted a meat substitute maker’s application for discovery from another meat substitute company into the intent of emails sent to an investor alleging trade secret misappropriation pertaining to one company’s patent, leading both parties to file complaints accusing each other of violating California’s unfair competition law (UCL).

  • May 25, 2022

    Majority: Discovery Sanction In Explosion Coverage Suit Was ‘Erroneous,’ ‘Abusive’

    SHREVEPORT, La. — A majority of a Louisiana appeals court on May 18 held that a lower court erred in imposing a discovery sanction that a jury would be instructed that insurers had knowledge of their insured’s operations before issuing their insurance policies, reversing the lower court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Louisiana’s military department and state police in a lawsuit arising from an explosion at Camp Minden.

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