CHICAGO — Chiding both parties in a trade secret misappropriation suit for “a long, drawn out, pitched battle” over discovery, an Illinois federal magistrate judge on May 17 denied Motorola Solutions Inc.’s motion to compel forensic examination of the defendants’ computers, finding no evidence that such an examination would be relevant to the limited statute of limitations issue presently before the court (Motorola Solutions Inc. v. Hytera Communications Corp., et al., No. 1:17-cv-01973, N.D. Ill., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 83136).
OLYMPIA, Wash. — A 7-2 Washington Supreme Court on May 17 found that emails between a county and the Washington Department of Ecology were protected from disclosure under the Public Records Act (PRA) because they were work product and because the sharing of the information between the parties did not constitute a waiver of that privilege (Kittitas County v. Sky Allphin, et al., No. 93562-9, Wash. Sup., 2018 Wash. Sup., 2018 Wash. LEXIS 336).
SACRAMENTO, Calif. — In two putative class actions filed in a California federal court over a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), a reinsurer and its affiliates on May 9 moved to compel production of documents in response to subpoenas served on an insurance agency (Shasta Linen Supply Inc. v. Applied Underwriters Inc., et al., Nos. 16-00158 & 16-01211, E.D. Calif.).
LINCOLN, Neb. — A promissory note holder failed to comply with a court order before filing a motion to compel discovery in a dispute over a reinsurer’s alleged breach of the promissory note executed pursuant to a reinsurance participation agreement (RPA), a Nebraska federal magistrate judge held May 4 (Applied Underwriters Inc. v. Top’s Personnel Inc., No. 15-90, D. Neb.).
AUSTIN, Texas — Documents related to a hospital’s negotiated rates with insurers are relevant to determining whether the hospital’s bill to an uninsured patient was reasonable, a Texas Supreme Court majority ruled April 27, denying the hospital’s petition for writ of mandamus in which it sought relief from a trial court’s order compelling production (In re North Cypress Medical Center Operating Co. Ltd., No. 16-0851, Texas Sup., 2018 Tex. LEXIS 346).
WASHINGTON, D.C. — The U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) improperly invoked Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) exemptions in redacting and withholding certain documents related to the Trump Organization’s lease and development of a federally owned building that were requested by a watchdog group, a District of Columbia federal judge ruled May 3, partly granting the group’s summary judgment motion (American Oversight v. U.S. General Services Administration, No. 1:17-cv-01267, D. D.C., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75116).
NEW ALBANY, N.Y. — An Indiana federal judge on May 2 partly sustained an insured’s objection to a magistrate’s decision not to compel certain documents from her long-term disability insurance provider, concluding that information about the insurer’s reserves was relevant to contractual claims over termination of benefits (Lanisa Kelly v. Lincoln National Life Insurance Co., No. 4:15-cv-00126, S.D. Ind., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74741).
RICHMOND, Va. — A federal judge in Virginia on May 1 ruled that an interior door skin manufacturer failed to show that sanctions for spoliation of evidence against a former employee are warranted because, although the former employee had a duty to preserve certain electronically stored information (ESI) he deleted prior to the litigation, the company has not shown that the ESI is unrecoverable (Steves & Sons Inc. v. JELD-WEN Inc., No. 16-0545, E.D. Va., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 74460).
BOSTON — A Massachusetts federal judge on May 2 denied a disability claimant’s motion to reopen the administrative record to conduct additional discovery because the claimant failed to present sufficient evidence that would justify reopening the administrative record (Amy Scolnick v. Prudential Insurance Company of America, No. 17-11430, D. Mass., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73976).
CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A North Carolina state business court judge on April 30 denied an insured’s request for a protective order regarding documents produced during prior settlement negotiations with an insurer after determining that much of the information in the documents sought by the insurers is relevant to the parties’ environmental contamination coverage dispute (Duke Energy Carolinas LLC, et al., v. AG Insurance SA, et al., No. 17-5594, N.C. Business, 2018 NCBC LEXIS 39).
PHILADELPHIA — The city of Philadelphia and a bank on May 1 jointly moved a Pennsylvania federal court for entry of a confidentiality order in relation to discovery in a lawsuit in which the city alleges that the bank engaged in discriminatory lending practices in minority communities (Philadelphia v. Wells Fargo & Co., et al., No. 17-2203, E.D. Pa.).
SEATTLE — An insurer is not entitled to documents related to an environmental contamination allocation proceeding involving its insured because the documents sought are confidential and include information about parties not involved in the insured’s coverage suit, a Washington federal judge said April 27 (King County v. Travelers Indemnity Co., et al., No. 14-1957, W.D. Wash., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71720).
SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge on April 27 denied a motion by Wal-Mart Stores Inc. to decertify a class of cashiers suing over the failure to provide them with stools and, in a separate order, partially granted a motion by the plaintiffs for exclusion sanctions against Wal-Mart (Nisha Brown, et al. v. Wal-Mart Store Inc., No. 09-3339, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71435, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 71437).
BALTIMORE — In an April 28 brief in Maryland federal court, the National Security Agency (NSA) says that discovery Wikimedia Foundation seeks to compel in its suit alleging constitutional violations in the agency’s upstream surveillance program comprises “highly sensitive and classified information that is protected by state secrets privilege (Wikimedia Foundation v. National Security Agency, et al., No. 1:15-cv-00662, D. Md.).
CHRISTIANSTED, Virgin Islands — A Virgin Islands judge on April 23 partially excluded a deceased attorney’s untimely produced testimony regarding a former employer’s asbestos practices, saying that it could not be used in cases scheduled for trial, but that with discovery still open in numerous other cases, the plaintiffs could still mount a proper response (In re: Asbestos, Catalyst, and Silica Toxic Dust Exposure Litigation, No. SX-15-CV-096, Virgin Islands Super., St. Croix).
DES MOINES, Iowa — Class action plaintiffs’ discovery requests seeking evidence of how an insurer created and negotiated deals for in-network provider lists and how it coded claims bear directly on whether its coverage of lactation consultant complied with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), a federal judge in Iowa held April 17 in sustaining objections to a magistrate judge’s discovery order (Jillian York, et al. v. Wellmark Inc., et al., No. 16-627, S.D. Iowa).
COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina recognizes an evidentiary privilege for trade secrets, but that privilege is considered a qualified privilege, a split South Carolina Supreme Court ruled April 25 in answering a certified question from the Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals in a wrongful death lawsuit (Theodore Hartsock v. Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd., et al., No. 27793, S.C. Sup., 2018 S.C. LEXIS 44).
SAN DIEGO — A California federal magistrate judge on April 26 ordered a certified public accountant and a bank to comply with subpoenas in a dispute over a reinsurer’s alleged breach of reinsurance agreements because of a series of fraudulent transfers (Odyssey Reinsurance Co. v. Richard Keith Nagby, et al., No. 16-3038, S.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70641).
SAN FRANCISCO — A California federal magistrate on April 24 denied Volkswagen-branded franchise dealers’ motion to compel withheld production in their lawsuit alleging that Robert Bosch LLC and Robert Bosch GmbH (collectively, Bosch) conspired with Volkswagen to develop the defeat device in Volkswagen's "clean diesel" vehicles to evade emission standards (In Re: Volkswagen "Clean Diesel" Marketing, Sales Practices, And Products Liability Litigation; No. 16-02086, N.D. Calif., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 69066).
SAN FRANCISCO — While a couple did not comply with rules governing discovery in a dispute over a company’s failure to disclose a corporate representative, their failure did not alter the outcome or prejudice a defunct shipbuilder’s defense of an asbestos case, a federal judge in California held April 20 (John Newton Jones v. General Electric Co., et al., No. 17-5446, N.D. Calif.).