SACRAMENTO, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on Jan. 17 partly granted an insurer’s motion for a protective order in a discovery dispute with its insured, denying the remainder of the motion in a coverage lawsuit over an underlying $50 million settlement (Aerojet Rocketydyne, Inc. v. Global Aerospace, Inc., et al., No. 17-01515, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8737).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A dispute over a trial court’s ability to order the deposition of the secretary of Commerce in a lawsuit over a proposed citizenship question on the upcoming census was removed from the U.S. Supreme Court’s argument calendar Jan. 18, with the high court also suspending all briefing pending further order of the court (In re U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 18-557, U.S. Sup.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Simultaneous with the filing of their respondent briefs, the states and nonprofit organizations suing the federal government over a proposed citizenship question on the upcoming census jointly filed a motion in the U.S. Supreme Court Jan. 17, seeking dismissal of the government’s granted petition for certiorari over the ordered deposition of the secretary of Commerce, arguing that a trial court’s recent ruling disposing of that order renders the matter moot (In re U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 18-557, U.S. Sup.).
NEW YORK — The New York attorney general on Jan. 15 filed a petition in the New York County Supreme Court for an order compelling opioid drug maker Mallinckrodt LLC to turn over certain subpoenaed documents due to a “settlement privilege” (New York v. Mallinckrodt LLC, No. 0450052/2019, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
NEW YORK — Chevron Corp. on Jan. 15 filed a brief in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York supporting its forensic protocol for the examination of discovery of hard drives and digital media belonging to Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
OAKLAND, Calif.— A California federal judge on Jan. 10 denied an application by the government for a warrant compelling individuals to unlock electronic devices secured by biometric means, such as thumbprint and facial scans, likening such items to self-incriminating testimony that is unlawful under the Fifth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (In re Search of a Residence in Oakland, Calif., No. 4:19-mj-70053, N.D. Calif.).
DENVER — A Colorado appeals panel on Dec. 27 overturned a trial court judge’s decision denying a motion to compel filed by the representative of a deceased man’s estate, finding that the attorney-client privilege was passed on to her (In re: The Estate of Louis Rabin, No. 18CA0160, Colo. App., 4th Div., 2018 Colo. App. LEXIS 1870).
SAN DIEGO — A federal judge in California on Jan. 11 enacted an “Operation Reset” in a dispute involving a dairy’s request for records involving communications between the owner of a manmade lake and a number of public agency defendants (PADs) over contamination at the site, ruling that the counsel for the parties should meet and confer about documents that have not been turned over pursuant to the dairy’s motion to compel and any privilege that may be associated with the documents (Citizens Development Corp. v. County of San Diego, et al., No. 12cv334, S.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5713).
NEWARK, N.J. — Discovery requests made by a Brazilian recruitment firm in support of an unfair competition lawsuit in its home country were deemed overbroad by a New Jersey federal judge on Jan. 10, who adopted and affirmed a magistrate’s recommendation to deny the company’s discovery petition, also finding that the firm did not establish that the discovery sought via its U.S. petition was unavailable through the Brazilian court (In re Application for Discovery for Use in Foreign Proceeding Pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1782, No. 2:17-cv-04269, D. N.J., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 5632).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In its Jan. 11 order list, the U.S. Supreme Court granted certiorari to an intervenor in a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit to decide whether withholding requested information under a FOIA exemption for “trade secrets and commercial or financial information” requires a showing of “substantial competitive harm” (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup.).
ST. LOUIS — Although a Missouri federal judge found some of the discovery requests of a plaintiff in a putative class action under the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) to be overly broad, he held on Jan. 9 that certain anonymized outbound call data was relevant to whether the defendant telecommunications company placed automated calls without consent, granting in part a motion to compel discovery responses (Greg Leeb v. Charter Communications Inc., No. 4:17-cv-02780, E.D. Mo., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4590).
DENVER — Residents, environmental organizations and nuclear workers advocacy groups on Jan. 10 filed a petition in Colorado federal court seeking disclosure of certain documents related to a federal grand jury that was impaneled to investigate alleged criminal actions related to a former nuclear weapons plant that state and federal authorities now contend is safe for recreation and could be used for hydraulic fracturing (In re: Petition of Alliance of Nuclear Workers Advocacy Groups, et al., No. 19-76, D. Colo.).
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. — An Alabama federal judge on Jan. 9 granted a disability claimant’s motion to conduct discovery as it pertains to the insurer’s conflict of interest because additional discovery will help the court in its review of the insurer’s denial of a claim for waiver-of-life-premium (Carol H. Stewart v. Hartford Life & Accident Insurance Co., No. 17-1423, N.D. Ala., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3647).
NEW YORK — In a reinsurance dispute involving a trucking accident, a reinsurer on Jan. 3 asked that a New York federal judge reopen discovery in the case so that it can conduct depositions regarding an insurer’s calculation of alleged damages (Endurance Assurance Corp. v. Florists’ Mutual Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-09955, S.D. N.Y.).
WILKESBORO, N.C. — A North Carolina state judge on Dec. 19 denied a franchisor’s motion to compel the net worth financial information of individual plaintiffs but granted the motion as it pertained to the net worth information of specified nonparty parent companies of the corporate plaintiffs after determining that the information is potentially relevant (Window World of Baton Rouge LLC, et al. v. Window World Inc., et al., Nos. 15 CVS 1, 15 CVS 2, N.C. Super., Wilkes Co., 2018 NCBC LEXIS 218).
NEW YORK — A federal judge in New York on Dec. 20 ordered the tax accountant for Steven R. Donziger, the attorney who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, to produce Donziger’s tax records, ruling that despite repeated efforts by Chevron to obtain compliance, the accountant has refused (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
NEW ORLEANS — Nine days after directing a small tug boat company to produce certain cell phone data in a lawsuit over an employee’s death, a Louisiana federal magistrate judge on Dec. 19 clarified that the parties will share the costs associated with this discovery and extended the deadline for compliance with the previous order (Anne Dufrene v. American Tugs Inc., et al., No. 2:18-cv-00554, E.D. La., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 207803).
FRANKFORT, Ky. — The Kentucky Court of Appeals on Dec. 14 affirmed a trial court ruling giving a Boston Globe life science news service access to the deposition of a Purdue Pharma L.P. executive from the state’s settled lawsuit against the opioid maker (Purdue Pharma L.P., et al. v. Boston Globe Life Sciences Media, LLC, et al., No. 2016-CA-000710-MR, Ky. App.).
PHILADELPHIA — The Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals on Dec. 7 allowed the leading advocacy group for the plaintiffs’ bar to argue in support of nine asbestos bankruptcy trusts in their fight to stave off an appeal filed by Ford Motor Co. and Honeywell International Inc., which demand “full access” to trust claimants’ data in search of fraud (In re: AC&S, Inc., et al., No. 18-1951, 3rd Cir.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Dec. 17 brief on behalf of the federal government, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) asks the U.S. Supreme Court to find that a trial court erred in compelling the deposition of the secretary of Commerce in a challenge to a planned citizenship query in the upcoming census, arguing that the order “def[ies] decades of settled law” and precedent that disfavors the deposition of high-ranking government officials (In re U.S. Department of Commerce, No. 18-557, U.S. Sup.).