WASHINGTON, D.C. — In an April 2 brief, New Jersey asks the U.S. Supreme Court to deny a former sheriff’s officer’s petition for certiorari in which he challenges the constitutionality of a subpoena requiring him to unlock his password-protected smartphone, arguing that the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution is not implicated and suggesting that the high court lacks jurisdiction over the matter.
OAKLAND, Calif. — A discovery dispute in one of three App Store antitrust lawsuits against Apple Inc. was resolved on April 6 by a California federal magistrate judge, who found that Apple’s motion to compel responses from nonparty Facebook Inc. related to one of its executives that was named as a trial witness by plaintiff Epic Games Inc. was untimely.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal magistrate judge on March 31 denied a request by the U.S. government to block discovery by the Cherokee Nation in its quest for an accounting of billions of dollars in assets held in trust by the government, saying the tribe is entitled to the information it seeks and calling the sought-after accounting “long overdue.”
LAS VEGAS — A federal magistrate judge in Nevada on March 26 signed a stipulated protective order in a software provider’s lawsuit alleging that an insurer and another software provider misappropriated its trade secrets to develop a clone of its flood claims services system application.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Google LLC and the plaintiffs in two consolidated antitrust lawsuits continue to dispute the parameters of searches that Google must conduct in response to requests for production (RFPs) served on it in the course of discovery, with the parties arguing about appropriate date parameters, search terms and purportedly nonresponsive documents in a joint status report filed March 28 in District of Columbia federal court.
KANSAS CITY, Kan. — A federal magistrate judge in Kansas on March 26 warned counsel for an insurance company and a general contractor about the proper way to handle discovery disputes in a suit over the insurer’s duty to defend and indemnify a masonry subcontractor that defaulted in a state court lawsuit brought by the contractor and granted in part the contractor’s motion to compel information about policies the insurer issued that might provide coverage to it.
BOSTON — Overturning two lower courts’ rulings, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court on March 24 found that some of the data sought by the state’s attorney general (AG) in an investigation of Facebook Inc.’s data security practices is protected by the attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine, remanding the case for a determination of which documents qualify for either privilege.
WINCHESTER, Tenn. — A federal magistrate judge in Tennessee on March 16 granted a joint motion for a protective order filed by a homeowners insurer and insureds, defining what constitutes confidential information in the insureds’ breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit arising from their tornado property damage.
NEW YORK — Nondisclosure orders forbidding Microsoft Corp. from informing a client, or a representative thereof, about a warrant that compelled contents of its email accounts do not violate Microsoft’s free speech rights under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, the U.S. government argues in a March 19 brief in the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, asserting that the orders are narrowly tailored to protect an ongoing criminal investigation.
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Supreme Court on March 22 said it will review a dispute over whether the federal statute governing judicial assistance in discovery for foreign and international tribunals applies to private commercial arbitral tribunals, the subject of a 3-2 circuit split.
GREENBELT, Md. — Objecting to a special master’s recommendation that Marriott International Inc. be permitted to engage in a limited forensic examination of their electronic devices, the plaintiffs in a consolidated privacy class action over the hotel chain’s 2018 data breach on March 17 asked a Maryland federal court to deny that discovery request, which they contend would violate their privacy rights more than the original data breach.
ATLANTA — A Georgia appeals panel on March 16 vacated a ruling entering default against a now out-of-business subcontractor that allegedly installed a retaining wall that collapsed at a Home Depot U.S.A. Inc. as a discovery sanction for failing to disclose that it had a $5 million umbrella insurance policy, finding that the punishment was not warranted because there was no evidence of willfulness.
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge on March 4 entered docket orders in favor of Chapter 11 debtor Bestwall LLC on two procedures for estimating the company’s asbestos liability and against the Official Committee of Asbestos Claimants, which had sought approval of four different estimation procedures.
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — An Alaska federal judge on March 15 bifurcated an insured’s bad faith claim from the insured’s coverage claim in a dispute over coverage owed under an auto policy after determining that separate trials are warranted on the claims; however, the judge refused to stay discovery on the bad faith claim until after the underinsured motorist claim is resolved.
ATLANTA — A federal judge in Georgia on March 15 refused to dismiss an insurer’s lawsuit seeking to rescind a liability insurance policy and a declaration that it has no duty to defend or indemnity the owner, operator and franchisors of a Marietta, Ga., hotel against underlying sex trafficking claims but stayed discovery to see how prosecution of the underlying action proceeds.
PHILADELPHIA — A federal judge in Pennsylvania on March 12 granted a motion to strike a request from Aetna Inc. and its affiliates for $102.7 million in damages stemming from the submission by medical billing companies for allegedly inflated claims for services provided by a physicians group for services provided at hospitals, finding that the insurers failed to disclose during fact discovery that such damages were being sought.
SOUTH BEND, Ind. — The Indiana federal judge overseeing the Biomet M2a Magnum metal-on-metal hip multidistrict litigation on March 11 ordered the plaintiffs’ co-lead counsel to pay fees and costs incurred by defendant Biomet Inc. in bringing a motion for sanctions for violating the court’s order on common discovery as it applied to two plaintiff cases.
CHICAGO — A motion seeking reconsideration of a ruling denying genetic testing of a woman suffering from mesothelioma allegedly caused by asbestos in talc was denied by an Illinois judge on March 12 during a hearing, sources told Mealey Publications.
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on March 12 quashed subpoenas issued to Google LLC for a United Arab Emirates joint stock company’s online records to aid in the enforcement of an arbitral award worth more than $51 million because the subpoenas were issued by a nonparty entity before its substitution as plaintiff in the litigation.
NEW ORLEANS — A case involving a NASA engineer’s alleged asbestos exposures belonged in federal court, did not involve prejudicial discovery violations and cannot escape Louisiana’s workers’ compensation exclusivity provision, a Fifth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel said March 9 in withdrawing a previous opinion and affirming a lower court.