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.
SAN JOSE, Calif. — Four months after a California federal magistrate judge ordered financial auditor Ernst & Young LLC (E&Y) to produce certain records that were deemed relevant to contractual and privacy claims brought against Google LLC by users of its Chrome web browser, the plaintiffs on March 4 moved to compel compliance with that order, stating that the defendant had blocked E&Y from submitting more than 6,000 documents responsive to its requests for production (RFPs).
LOS ANGELES — Medical providers and insurer entities squared off in a joint stipulation March 3 in California federal court over whether to extend the deadline for discovery in a case over reimbursement for out-of-network substance abuse care.
COLUMBIA, S.C. — The South Carolina Court of Appeals in a March 2 order denied rehearing of a recent ruling affirming imposition of $300,000 in sanctions against an asbestos boiler company for allegedly evading discovery only to argue midtrial that it could produce evidence that the plaintiff’s case was built on a typographic error.
SEATTLE — A Washington federal magistrate judge on March 2 found that many of the documents withheld or redacted by Safeco Insurance Company of America in a coverage dispute over a damaged rental property were not shielded by the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine, granting the homeowner’s motion to compel submission of the documents, while ordering the insurer to supplement its privilege log to clearly explain why any withheld documents are privileged.
AUSTIN, Texas — A trial court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing a breach of contract and bad faith suit filed against a homeowners insurer in a dispute over coverage for fire damages because the dismissal of the suit as a sanction was warranted based on the insureds’ repeated failure to produce requested discovery documents, the Third District Texas Court of Appeals said Feb. 25.
TRENTON, N.J. — Johnson & Johnson spinoff and Chapter 11 debtor LTL Management LLC told a New Jersey federal bankruptcy judge on March 2 that it should not have to foot the bill for discovery that two asbestos claimant committees insist on conducting to assess candidates for future claimants’ representative even after the debtor agreed to the appointment of one of the committees’ candidates.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a unanimous, but narrow, ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court on March 4 concluded that the in camera and ex parte examination procedures of Section 1806(f) of the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act (FISA) do not displace the state secrets privilege, reversing and remanding a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals judgment to the contrary in a dispute over the FBI’s surveillance of Muslim communities in the United States.
SAN FRANCISCO — A trial court properly dismissed Twitter Inc.’s challenge to a civil investigative demand (CID) by Texas Attorney General (AG) Ken Paxton, a Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel ruled March 2, deeming the social network’s declaratory complaint under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to be “not prudentially ripe.”