NEW YORK — Chevron Corp. on March 20 filed two briefs in a New York federal court contending that attorney Steven R. Donziger, who won an $18.5 billion judgment against Chevron in a court in Ecuador for injuries only to have it reversed, should be held in contempt for failing to comply with a discovery order and for signing over to his personal “performance coach” a specified percentage of his fees in the case (Chevron Corporation v. Steven Donziger, No. 11-691, S.D. N.Y.).
DETROIT — The city of Flint, Mich., on March 18 moved in Michigan federal court for a protective order that would require the rescheduling of de bene esse depositions of two witnesses in a whistleblower’s lawsuit against the city related to alleged retaliation in the aftermath of the Flint lead-contaminated water crisis (Natasha Henderson v. Flint, et al., No. 16-11648, E.D. Mich.).
FRESNO, Calif. — A California federal magistrate judge on March 5 entered an order allowing depositions of absent class members in a lawsuit over wages for agricultural workers but placed limits on the number of depositions for now and left open the possibility of limiting the length of the depositions in the future (Beatriz Aldapa, et al. v. Fowler Packaging Company Inc., et al., No. 15-420, E.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 35284).
TAMPA, Fla. — A federal judge in Florida on March 8 sentenced a woman to 21 months in prison and ordered her to pay restitution for illegally obtaining Social Security disability benefits while simultaneously working at a law firm as a title closer (United States v. Roselle Fitzgerald, No. 18cr227, M.D. Fla.).
PHILADELPHIA — The plaintiff in a contract dispute with Honeywell International Inc. over the digital integration of security systems filed a motion for sanctions in Pennsylvania federal court March 8, arguing that it was prejudiced by the defendant’s destruction of electronically stored information (ESI) in the form of emails that memorialized the parties’ contractual relationship (Universal Atlantic Systems Inc. v. Honeywell International Inc., No. 2:17-cv-04660, E.D. Pa.).
LAS VEGAS — Citing “grave concerns” that Rimini Street Inc. is not fully complying with a permanent injunction issued against it in a long-running software copyright dispute, Oracle USA Inc. on Feb. 27 asked a Nevada federal court for leave to conduct limited discovery to determine the extent of the defendant’s compliance or noncompliance (Oracle USA Inc., et al. v. Rimini Street Inc., et al., No. 2:10-cv-00106, D. Nev.).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed a merits brief on behalf of the federal government in the U.S. Supreme Court on March 6, arguing that a trial court wrongly deemed a citizenship question on the upcoming the U.S. census to be unconstitutional and condemning that court’s decision to allow extrarecord discovery in the form of a deposition of the secretary of Commerce to probe his mental processes on the census question (U.S. Department of Commerce, et al. v. New York, et al., No. 18-966, U.S. Sup.).
WILMINGTON, Del. — An Irish-based medical imaging company argues in a March 5 brief in Delaware court that documents sought in discovery by a former manufacturing partner in a motion to compel are not only irrelevant to the contractual dispute between them but also that producing them could potentially violate the stringent privacy standards of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) (Guerbet Ireland Unlimited Co., et al. v. SpecGX LLC, No. N18C-05-159, Del. Super.).
SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on March 6 granted a disability claimant’s motion to compel additional discovery after determining that additional discovery into the credibility of the disability insurer’s previous and current medical reviewers is necessary because the insurer relied on a fake doctor’s report in denying the initial claim for benefits (Penelope Benis v. Reliance Standard Health Insurance Co., No. 18-164, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36008).
BOISE, Idaho — Although the subpoena for the deposition of a witness in an employment retaliation suit was issued in his court, an Idaho federal magistrate judge on Feb. 26 denied a motion to compel responses from the witness, deferring the matter to the Washington federal court where the original deposition was held (Sharon R. Hammer, et al. v. Sun Valley, et al., No. 1:13-cv-00211, D. Idaho, 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 32607).
TULSA, Okla. — Trustees of Oklahoma School Risk Management Trust (OSRMT) argue in a March 1 response that an Oklahoma federal court should not require them to produce certain documents in a lawsuit concerning alleged disparagement to a self-insurance products distributor during the promotion of a competitor’s products to school districts (The Sandner Group – Alternative Risk Solutions Inc. v. BancFirst Insurance Services Inc., et al., No. 18-0265, N.D. Okla.).
LOS ANGELES — An online streaming service’s claim that it relied on the advice of its counsel as to the legality of its video-filtering services waived attorney-client privilege in any documents or communications on this matter, a California federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 26, granting in part a motion to compel by a group of movie studios in a copyright infringement dispute (Disney Enterprises Inc., et al. v. VidAngel Inc., No. 2:16-cv-04109, C.D. Calif.).
SEATTLE — A cryptocurrency platform provider pursuing legal action against an unknown hacker has shown good cause to conduct early discovery to obtain identifying information for a John Doe defendant to pursue computer fraud claims, a Washington federal judge ruled Feb. 25, granting in part the company’s motion for that limited purpose (ZG TOP Technology Co. Ltd. v. John Doe, No. 2:19-cv-00092, W.D. Wash., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29616).
NEW YORK — A New York federal judge on Feb. 25 denied a petitioner’s request for leave to seek discovery for use in an arbitration pending before the China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), holding that the CIETAC is not an international tribunal that falls within the scope of the applicable foreign discovery law (In re Application of Hanwei Guo, No. 18-MC-561, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29572).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The Trump administration on Feb. 21 asked a judge in the District of Columbia federal court for more time to respond to a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request filed by an environmental group that has requested records relating to the Mancos-Gallup Resource Management Plan (MGRMP) in order to analyze the effects of hydraulic fracturing on the Greater Chaco Region (Wildearth Guardians v. U.S. Department of the Interior, et al., No. 19-72, D. D.C.).
NEW ORLEANS — Louisiana plaintiffs’ attempt at subpoenaing a Michigan witness demonstrates a “disturbing unfamiliarity” with federal rules, and no good cause exists for their last minute objections to testimony, but the federal judge overseeing the case continued the upcoming trial Feb. 20 so the parties could conduct discovery into newly alleged premises and employer liability claims (Victor Michel v. Ford Motor Co., et al., No. 18-4738, E.D. La.).
SAN FRANCISCO— A technology firm that is the defendant in a patent infringement lawsuit failed to establish that producing emails of an employee in the United Kingdom would violate the privacy protections of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), a California federal magistrate judge ruled Feb. 14, finding the requested emails to be relevant to the suit and the plaintiff’s requests to not be overbroad (Finjan Inc. v. Zscaler Inc., No. 3:17-cv-06946, N.D. Calif., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24570).
NEW YORK — A New York federal magistrate judge on Feb. 19 denied a petition filed by investors who sought discovery from a law firm to be used in their appeal of a Hague court’s decision overturning arbitral awards of more than $50 billion, holding that a delay in seeking the documents and a lack of clarity under Russian law as to the treatment of discovery sought through a subpoena favored denial of the petition (In re: Application of Hulley Enterprises, Ltd., et al., No. 18-MC-435, S.D. N.Y., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26332).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — In a Feb. 15 merits brief, a trade association tells the U.S. Supreme Court that an exemption of the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) for “trade secrets and commercial or financial information” merely requires a showing that withheld information was “confidential,” arguing that an Eighth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling improperly held that the exemption required establishing that “substantial competitive harm” would result from disclosure (Food Marketing Institute v. Argus Leader Media, No. 18-481, U.S. Sup.).
LAS VEGAS — A federal judge in Nevada on Feb. 14 overruled objections by two doctors accused of submitting bills to Allstate Insurance Co. and its affiliates for medical services provided to victims of automobile accidents that were not provided or medically unnecessary to a magistrate judge’s ruling denying their motion to quash subpoenas seeking financial records, finding that the requested information is relevant and that the subpoenas cannot be narrowed (Allstate Insurance Co., et al. v. Marjorie Belsky, M.D., et al., No. 15-cv-2265, D. Nev., 2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24986).