RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals failed to consider the proper analytical framework when it reversed a trial court’s decision to permit a government-appointed filter team to review documents seized from a law firm for potentially privileged items, the U.S. government says in a Jan. 15 petition for rehearing, asserting that the use of filter teams is reasonable under the Fourth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution (In re: Search Warrant Issued June 13, 2019, No. 19-1730, 4th Cir.).
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. — Ten months after bitcoin pioneer Craig Wright was first ordered to provide a list of his bitcoin holdings in a dispute over the ownership of potentially billions of dollars’ worth of digital currency, the defendant filed a notice of compliance in Florida federal court on Jan. 14, reporting that he had provided the list to the plaintiffs that same day (Ira Kleiman, et al. v. Craig Wright, No. 9:18-cv-80176, S.D. Fla.).
NEWARK, N.J. — Addressing one of the existing discovery disputes in a class action over alleged environmental impact misrepresentation by Mercedes-Benz USA LLC, a New Jersey federal special master on Jan. 9 declined to require the automaker to use technology assisted review (TAR) in searching electronically stored information (ESI) for documents responsive to the plaintiffs’ discovery requests (In Re Mercedes-Benz Emissions Litigation, No. 2-16-cv-00881, D. N.J., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3781).
HONOLULU — There is no conflict of interest where attorneys who helped plaintiffs settle asbestos claims against Cleaver-Brooks Inc. now represent those same plaintiffs in an action accusing the company of fraudulently concealing evidence during discovery, a federal judge in Hawaii said Dec. 19 in denying a motion to disqualify (Terry N. Agena, et al. v. Cleaver-Brooks Inc., et al., No. 19-89, D. Hawaii, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221235).
HARRISBURG, Pa. — In rulings issued Jan. 8 and 9, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate judge denied discovery requests by a class of travel stop operations managers (OMs) in a Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) overtime lawsuit, finding requests for personnel files and text messages to be too broad, burdensome and fraught with privacy concerns (Kristopher Lawson, et al. v. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores Inc., No. 1:17-cv-01266, M.D. Pa., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3352).
CINCINNATI — A Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Dec. 20 denied an emergency petition for writ of mandamus filed by a client of two law firms formerly worked at by an attorney who later filed a pair of lawsuits against the client, rejecting the client’s request that the panel compel a federal district court to vacate two orders it handed down and to compel the forensic imaging and search of the attorney’s computers and cellular phones pursuant to a suggested protocol (In re: FCA US LLC, No. 19-1923, 6th Cir., 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 38167).
CHARLESTON, S.C. — A federal judge in South Carolina on Dec. 23 ruled that the owner and operator of a merchandise trade statistics database is entitled to inspect and copy a forensic image of a former consultant’s laptop computer as part of discovery in a breach of contract and trade secret misappropriation lawsuit (IHS Global Limited, et al. v. Trade Data Monitor LLC, et al., No. 18-1025, D. S.C., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 220327).
NEW YORK — An emergency motion by the Securities and Exchange Commission to compel unredacted bank records from a firm accused of securities registration violations was denied Jan. 6 by a New York federal judge, who indicated, however, that review of the records will ultimately occur (Securities and Exchange Commission v. Telegram Group Inc., et al., No. 1:19-cv-09439, S.D. N.Y., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3111).
NEW YORK — A surveillance technology watchdog group sued New York City Transit (NYCT) in New York state court on Jan. 6, seeking to compel the agency to comply with a request under the state’s Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) for documents related to the purported use of facial recognition technology on the city’s subway system (Surveillance Technology Oversight Project v. Metropolitan Transportation Authority, et al., No. 150127/20, N.Y. Sup., New York Co.).
DALLAS — A health care provider that sued its patients’ insurer to recover benefits on their behalf under the Employee Retirement Income Security Act was granted a motion to compel certain communications between the insurer and the patients’ plan on Jan. 3, as a Texas federal judge held that the attorney-client privilege could not be invoked against the plaintiff, as the plan beneficiaries’ assignee, for plan administration documents (Advanced Physicians S.C. v. Connecticut General Life Insurance Co., et al., No. 3:16-cv-02355, N.D. Texas).
SAN FRANCISCO — Asbestos plaintiffs noticed a deposition, only to cancel it the day before its scheduled date without adequate explanation, a company told a California federal judge in seeking sanctions on Dec. 26 (In re Toy Asbestos Litigation, No. 19-325, N.D. Calif.).
ST. PAUL, Minn. — Determining that some documents requested by a food services company against its pest control vendor were produced before there was a reasonable anticipation of litigation, a Minnesota federal magistrate judge on Jan. 2 deemed them not privileged in a negligence suit over post-fumigation damage to electrical equipment, granting in part the plaintiff’s motion to compel compliance with discovery subpoenas (S.T. Specialty Foods Inc. v. Copesan Services Inc., et al., No. 0:19-cv-00339, D. Minn., 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 255).
ALBANY, N.Y. — A federal judge in New York on Jan. 2 ordered jurisdictional discovery in a consolidated groundwater lawsuit related to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA) contamination, ruling that although the district court lacked general or alter-ego jurisdiction, Saint-Gobain Corp. may be subject to personal jurisdiction (In re: Hoosick Falls PFOA Cases, No. 19-220, N.D. N.Y.).
MIAMI — A federal magistrate judge in Florida on Dec. 20 recommended granting a petition to enforce a subpoena that seeks the deposition of a Miami-based business owner, finding that his testimony could be relevant to a lawsuit brought by State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. in federal court in New York against 20 defendants accused of submitting false claims for no-fault benefits because the defendants sent him large sums of money during the alleged scheme (State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co. v. Vladimir Maistrenko, No. 19-MC-20850-SCOLA-TORRES, S.D. Fla., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 221150).
ANN ARBOR, Mich. — Plaintiffs in the litigation pertaining to the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., on Dec. 30 filed a brief in Michigan federal court contending that the district court should deny a motion filed by defendants who seek additional time for their own depositions and a reduction in time allotted for the plaintiffs. The plaintiffs contend that the defendants cite no evidence in support of their motion (In re Flint Water Cases, No. 16-10444, E.D. Mich.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — A motion for sanctions and contempt filed by the foreign owners of two Republic of Kazakhstan companies whose rights to explore and develop oil and gas fields in Kazakhstan was canceled “is frivolous and filed in bad faith solely for the purpose of harassment,” Kazakhstan argues in opposition filed Dec. 16 in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia (Anatolie Stati, et al. v. Republic of Kazakhstan, No. 14-1638, D. D.C.).
NEW YORK — A tech company on Dec. 5 filed a petition in a New York federal court to enforce an arbitration subpoena issued to Google LLC seeking records related to an underlying arbitration dispute in which the company seeks damages from an India-based company it claims concealed the theft of its data (Consumer Software International, Inc. v. Google, LLC, No. 19-11164, S.D. N.Y.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — A Delaware state court judge on Dec. 18 issued a partial bench ruling in which he stayed discovery in a lawsuit brought by the Chemours Co., a spinoff company of E.I. du Pont de Nemours & Co., which contends that DowDuPont seeks to “avoid accountability for environmental costs through a campaign of transactional engineering” related to litigation brought against it for injuries allegedly caused by exposure to perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA), also called C8. Vice Chancellor Sam Glasscock III did not elaborate on the reason for his decision (The Chemours Company v. DowDuPont Inc., No. 2019-0351, Del. Chanc.).
OAKLAND, Calif. — Although a lawsuit in which the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) sought a warrant compelling suspects to unlock electronic devices via biometric means raised “highly engaging issues,” a California federal judge on Dec. 10 denied as moot the department’s motion to reconsider an order denying the warrant for constitutional reasons in light of the government’s abandonment of the original warrant, which deprived the court of jurisdiction over the matter (In re Search of a Residence in Oakland, Calif., No. 4:19-mj-70053, N.D. Calif.).
MIAMI — A Florida appeals court on Dec. 11 denied a motion by a pelvic mesh manufacturer to appeal a lower court’s denial of its motion to dismiss a discovery action filed by a Medicare recovery company (American Medical Systems, LLC v. MSP Recovery Claims, Series LLC, Fla. App., 3rd Dist., 2019 Fla. App. LEXIS 18412).