WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 23 heard arguments from parties and the United States as amicus curiae in two consolidated cases addressing what kind of foreign arbitral tribunals U.S. courts may assist by ordering discovery under Title 28 U.S. Code Section 1782, which is the subject of a circuit split, and whether such discovery is required by the text of the statute or harms comity.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — Hundreds of asbestos personal injury claimants in the Chapter 11 case of Georgia-Pacific spinoff Bestwall LLC on March 17 appealed an order by a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge finding them in contempt for not providing complete information to the debtor in a discovery questionnaire.
MONTGOMERY, Ala. — Asserting that initial disclosures have not yet been provided on counterclaims filed in September 2021 or earlier in a breach of contract dispute over reinsurance billings, a reinsurer on March 18 asked an Alabama federal court to preclude the insurer from presenting evidence and witnesses not already disclosed to support its defenses to those counterclaims.
OAKLAND, Calif. — An Alameda County judge on March 4 issued a tentative ruling asking for more briefing on a protective order seeking to preclude genetic and destructive testing of pathology materials in an asbestos case, protect the chain-of-custody of pathology materials and prevent experts from using those materials in research outside the needs of the case.
NEW YORK — A company must produce product identification evidence, a New York justice said Feb. 24 in affirming an asbestos special master’s recommendation and rejecting arguments that the 40-year span covered by the request would not produce useful or reasonable evidence.
ATLANTA — Affirming in part a trial court’s ruling in a dispute between two brothers over their mother’s finances and power of attorney (POA), a Georgia Court of Appeals panel on March 11 agreed that their mother’s will was protected from discovery under the attorney-client privilege.
COLUMBUS, Ohio — A hydraulic fracturing company on March 16 filed a reply brief in Ohio federal court seeking to compel leaseholders to undertake what it calls a “routine, forensically defensible email collection and keyword search” for production of documents in a royalty lawsuit, contending that such an examination is needed because of the “obvious fox/henhouse and metadata corruption issues inherent” in the current approach used by the plaintiffs to this point.
NEW ORLEANS — A motion seeking to exclude a certified industrial hygienist’s deposition testimony taken for use at trial is essentially a motion in limine, a magistrate judge said in a March 16 order referring a motion for protective order to the judge who will oversee the asbestos trial.
ALEXANDRIA, Va. — In reply briefs filed Feb. 2 and 9 in Virginia federal court, internet service provider (ISP) Cox Communications Inc. supports its motions for relief from a $1 billion judgment over its subscribers’ file-sharing activities, seeking discovery of materials revealed in a similar case against another ISP that it says bear directly on the plaintiff record labels’ claims against it.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge on March 3 denied a petition for reconsideration by the Republic of the Gambia, in which the nation challenged the definition of what constitutes a Facebook “user,” with the judge finding that Meta Platforms Inc. (formerly Facebook Inc.) properly determined that certain posts by officials from the Republic of the Union of Myanmar are protected from disclosure by the Stored Communications Act (SCA) in its refusal to provide them to Gambia for use in an international anti-genocide proceeding.
CHICAGO — An Illinois appeals court on March 2 affirmed a trial court order that a hospital produce records and answer interrogatories before a plaintiff in a defective heart device case files a certificate of a valid medical malpractice claim.
NEW YORK — Following ex parte review of documents that the plaintiff withheld from production in a dispute over defense and indemnity costs, a New York federal judge on March 3 ruled that attorney-client privilege or the attorney work product doctrine protect all but one and that the defendant “has not made a showing of substantial need and undue hardship.”
LOS ANGELES — Parties in a suit over the alleged mishandling of reinsurance billings laid out a discovery dispute before a California federal court on March 9, with the plaintiffs seeking to compel production regarding claims asserted against a reinsurer and related entities by similarly situated insurance companies, and the defendants arguing that the requests “are completely divorced from” the billings dispute.
NEW YORK — A John Doe defendant was unsuccessful in his attempt to quash an adult film company’s subpoena on his internet service provider (ISP) to obtain his name and address, with a New York federal judge on March 8 ruling that this “narrow and focused tool of discovery” was appropriate to allow the plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim to proceed while the defendant’s privacy is kept anonymous, for now, by a protective order.
AUSTIN, Texas — A trial court’s order refusing to compel production of a nursing home’s policies and procedures before the plaintiff provided his expert report in a health care liability case against the nursing home was not an abuse of discretion because the nursing home’s policies are “outside the narrow scope of pre-report discovery” allowed in medical liability cases and the appellate court erred in requiring the trial court to “compel production,” the Texas Supreme Court held Feb. 25, conditionally granting the nursing home’s writ of mandamus petition.
HARRISON, Ark. — Defendants may depose an attorney previously involved in a family’s asbestos case about two bottles of talc she obtained during a visit to their home, the chain of custody of those bottles and whether they are the same bottles that are now in an expert’s possession but should narrowly tailor their questioning, a federal magistrate judge in Arkansas said March 2 after previously sanctioning plaintiffs’ current counsel for a “well-documented pattern of discovery abuses” in a separate order.
CENTRAL ISLIP, N.Y. — Noting that a disability benefits suit has been going on for far too long, a New York federal judge on Feb. 17 denied a disability insurer’s objections to the inclusion in the record of a letter from a physical therapist who completed the claimant’s functional capacity evaluation and encouraged the parties to consider other approaches to bring the suit to finality.
BAY CITY, Mich. — Largely overruling a magistrate’s order in a copyright and trademark lawsuit, in which the discovery process has been described as “tumultuous,” a Michigan federal judge on March 3 ordered the defendant to provide responses to production and interrogatory requests related to thousands of technical drawings, finding them to be relevant to the claims and proportional to the needs of the case.
NEW YORK — Tesla Inc. CEO Elon Musk asked a federal judge in New York on March 8 to quash and terminate a Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena, as well as a Sept. 29, 2018, consent decree he entered into with the SEC on claims that a series of social media posts he made in August stating that he was considering taking the company private violated federal securities laws.
LAS VEGAS — Albertson’s LLC on March 3 was partly granted its second sanctions motion for a plaintiff’s failure to produce social media and communication data that the grocery store chain sought related to the plaintiff’s claims of injuries from an in-store incident, with a Nevada federal magistrate judge eschewing dispositive sanctions in favor of establishing certain facts for the upcoming jury trial.