Mealey's Discovery

  • May 24, 2024

    Magistrate Will Not Reconsider Redacted Document Ruling, Says Privilege Inapplicable

    ANN ARBOR, Mich. — A federal magistrate judge on May 23 refused to reconsider a ruling in which she determined that an engineering firm that is a defendant in litigation stemming from the lead-contaminated water crisis in Flint, Mich., must provide 40 documents in response to a motion to compel compliance with a discovery order, saying that the firm did not show that the documents were protected by the attorney-client privilege.

  • May 14, 2024

    COMMENTARY: Comparison Of Third-Party Discovery In Domestic And International Arbitration

    By Jessica Sabbath and Lisa Richman

  • May 23, 2024

    Squabble Over Subpoena In Semiconductor Substrate Patent Row Sent To Texas

    BOSTON — A federal magistrate judge in Massachusetts on May 22 did not reach the merits of a motion to quash a subpoena served on a wafer manufacturer, instead transferring the request to the Texas federal court where an infringement action over semiconductor products incorporating the wafers is already under way. 

  • May 22, 2024

    J&J Seeks Expedited Responses On Subpoenas To Asbestos-Talc Law Firm

    TRENTON, N.J. — Two Johnson & Johnson entities asked the federal court in New Jersey overseeing the talc multidistrict litigation to expedite responses to a subpoena issued to the Beasley Allen Law Firm, saying recent revelations of “egregious behavior” suggest that the firm no longer advocates in the best interests of its clients and uses the media in hopes of sinking a potential global settlement of the asbestos-talc claims.

  • May 22, 2024

    Federal Judge OKs SEC Subpoena Over Musk’s Claims Of ‘Harassment’

    SAN FRANCISCO — A federal judge in California ordered the enforcement of a Securities and Exchange Commission subpoena targeting Elon Musk as part of an investigation into Musk’s 2022 purchase of stock in the company formerly known as Twitter Inc., finding that the “SEC’s actions were constitutional, and the subpoena reasonably seeks information relevant to the SEC’s investigation.”

  • May 22, 2024

    CertainTeed Debtor DBMP Can Subpoena Asbestos Claimants, Bankruptcy Judge Rules

    CHARLOTTE, N.C. — CertainTeed Corp. debtor DBMP LLC can subpoena asbestos claimants in two other asbestos bankruptcy cases who settled their claims against CertainTeed before the DBMP Chapter 11 case was filed, a North Carolina federal bankruptcy judge ruled in denying a motion by the Official Committee of Asbestos Personal Injury Claimants to strike the subpoenas.

  • May 20, 2024

    Judge Bars Some Questions, Allows Others On Monsanto’s Knowledge Of PCBs Post-1977

    BURLINGTON, Vt. — A federal judge in Vermont on May 17 ruled that Monsanto Co.’s motions to quash and for a protective order related to certain testimony in a lawsuit over polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) brought by a Vermont school were partially granted.  The judge said that he would not bar questions pertaining to matters within the corporation’s knowledge after 1977 but that communication between Monsanto and affiliated companies about potential liability stemming from PCBs was privileged.

  • May 17, 2024

    New Jersey Judge Invites Amici In Dispute Over Mesothelioma Genetic Testing

    TRENTON, N.J. — A New Jersey judge invited amicus curiae briefs on a motion to compel testing seeking genetic markers for mesothelioma in an asbestos case and laid out the questions she has about how such a process works and its potential impact.

  • May 16, 2024

    Judge Won’t Compel Authors Guild Evidence In Authors’ AI Copyright Suit

    SAN FRANCISCO — While authors portray documents in a related case as clearly relevant to their artificial intelligence copyright claims against OpenAI Inc. and others, their failure to go beyond declaratory statements and explain the relevance of any evidence requires denying the request to compel production, a federal judge in California said.

  • May 16, 2024

    Missouri Officials Win Deposition Dispute In Row Over ESG Factor Rules

    JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — A trade association lost a discovery dispute in its challenge to new Missouri rules that it says require “a state-authored script” for “incorporating a social or nonfinancial objective into investment advice,” with a Missouri federal judge on May 15 rejecting its request to depose Missouri Secretary of State John R. Ashcroft.

  • May 15, 2024

    Judge Overrules Abbott’s Objections To Discovery Order In FCA Suit Over Kickbacks

    SAN DIEGO — A California federal judge on May 14 overruled Abbott Laboratories’ objections and affirmed a magistrate judge’s discovery order that denied Abbott’s motion to compel production of certain documents in a suit alleging violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) and state false claims laws regarding Abbott’s alleged kickback scheme to induce hospitals and physicians to use an Abbott cardiac medical device, finding that Abbott is not entitled to discover certain documents, which are considered privileged work product.

  • May 15, 2024

    Magistrate Approves Discovery Plan In Guaranty Association’s MSP Suit Against CMS

    RALEIGH, N.C. — A North Carolina federal magistrate judge approved a discovery plan in the North Carolina Insurance Guaranty Association’s (NCIGA) suit against the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), its secretary and the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS), seeking a determination that the NCIGA is not a primary plan under the federal Medicare Secondary Payer (MSP) statute and therefore not obligated to reimburse CMS regarding a workers’ compensation claim involving an insolvent insurer.

  • May 15, 2024

    Judges Say Camp Lejeune Plaintiffs Not Entitled To Appeal Jury Trial Ruling

    RALEIGH, N.C. — Four federal judges in North Carolina have issued a combined order and denied a bid by the plaintiffs in the Camp Lejeune water crisis litigation to certify an appeal of a decision of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina denying immediate appellate review on the issue of whether the Camp Lejeune Justice Act (CLJA) authorizes jury trials for plaintiffs bringing claims under the statute.

  • May 14, 2024

    Appeals Court Rejects Subpoena, Instruction Challenges To N.Y. Asbestos Verdict

    BUFFALO, N.Y. — A trial court did not err in quashing a subpoena seeking corporate testimony about events 50 years prior and for which there appeared to be no such witness or in failing to instruct the jury on an employer’s potential role as an intervening cause of a man’s mesothelioma, a New York appeals court said in affirming a $2 million verdict.

  • May 14, 2024

    Judge Orders Discovery In Bid To Enforce $1.5M Award Against Bankrupt German CEO

    SAN JOSE, Calif. — A California federal judge refused to dismiss a video game streaming platform’s petition to confirm a JAMS award worth nearly $1.5 million against two German entities and their shareholder, the former CEO of the original award-debtor, and ordered further jurisdictional discovery to determine whether the court can exercise jurisdiction over the German defendants.

  • May 14, 2024

    Federal Judge Dismisses Lead Insurer From D&O Coverage Dispute Over SEC Subpoena

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — A District of Columbia federal judge granted a joint motion filed by Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and its lead insurer to dismiss the insurer from Freddie Mac’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage for underlying expenses it incurred on behalf of its directors, officers and employees who were subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission during an investigation and subsequent lawsuit.

  • May 10, 2024

    Homeowner Cannot File New Evidence Of Personal Property Damaged By Chinese Drywall

    TAMPA, Fla. — A homeowner who claims that his home was damaged by defective Chinese drywall may not present new evidence of personal property damage one month before trial because he already submitted an itemized list of such damages and discovery has closed, a Florida federal judge found in resolving two motions filed by the drywall manufacturers.

  • May 07, 2024

    Judge Dismisses Group’s Continued FOIA Claims, Says Agency Complied

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Saying an environmental group “is having a hard time accepting ‘yes’ for an answer,” a District of Columbia federal judge granted a motion by the U.S. Forest Service to dismiss the group’s continued pressing of its Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) claim even after getting the documents it requested.

  • May 07, 2024

    State Says Production Request Valid In Federal Fracking Lease Dispute With DOI

    BISMARCK, N.D. — The state of North Dakota on May 6 filed a reply brief in North Dakota federal court contending that its production request in its ongoing dispute with the U.S. Department of the Interior (DOI) and the U.S. Bureau of Land Management (BLM) should be granted because the BLM is not complying with its duty to provide information related to the agencies’ decision to cancel certain hydraulic fracturing lease sales, which the state calls “the Stop.”

  • May 07, 2024

    Tech Firm Must Provide Records In Age Discrimination, Retaliation Lawsuit

    NEW YORK — A New York federal judge largely granted a plaintiff’s motion to compel further discovery responses from his former employer, finding that “liberal civil discovery rules” were appropriate to permit the plaintiff to find support for his allegations of a companywide practice of discrimination, as well as the claim that he was retaliated against for reporting illegal behavior by a company executive.

  • May 06, 2024

    Freddie Mac Dismisses Lead Insurer From D&O Coverage Dispute Over SEC Subpoena

    WASHINGTON, D.C. — Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) and its lead insurer on May 3 filed a joint stipulation asking a District of Columbia federal court to dismiss the insurer from Freddie Mac’s breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit seeking directors and officers liability coverage for underlying expenses it incurred on behalf of its directors, officers and employees who were subpoenaed by the Securities and Exchange Commission during an investigation and subsequent lawsuit.

  • May 06, 2024

    Motion To Compel Granted In Bad Faith Row With Insurer Making Fraud Counterclaim

    SEATTLE — A Washington federal judge on May 3 granted in part an insurer’s motion to compel more complete responses to interrogatories in a bad faith suit filed against the insurer that counterclaimed for a declaration that it has no obligation to cover the insured due to his purported fraudulent misrepresentations about his auto accident injuries, finding that the insurer made reasonable requests, including requests for the insured’s social media postings.

  • May 06, 2024

    Express Scripts Must Turn Over Some Financial Records In Blue Cross Contract Row

    DETROIT — Partly granting an insurance company’s motion to compel financial documents from its pharmacy benefit manager (PBM), a Michigan federal magistrate judge found that many of them were relevant to determining the PBM’s understanding of a 2019 agreement between the parties, including disputed rebates for medical supplies to which the insurer claims it was entitled.

  • May 03, 2024

    Appeal Of Bestwall Asbestos Claimants’ Discovery Sanctions Dismissed By Split Panel

    RICHMOND, Va. — A Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel in a divided opinion dismissed an appeal by asbestos personal injury claimants and their law firm in the Chapter 11 case of Georgia-Pacific spinoff Bestwall LLC of the dismissal of their challenges to a bankruptcy judge’s contempt finding and sanctions against them for not providing complete information to the debtor in a discovery questionnaire.

  • May 03, 2024

    Judge Denies Letter Rogatory To Name ‘Civil Society’ Members Targeted By Spyware

    OAKLAND, Calif. — A spyware maker’s attempt to demonstrate that its surveillance software targeted terrorists and criminals, rather than members of “civil society,” can be made without obtaining discovery from a research lab, a California federal judge ruled May 2, denying the defendant’s motion to issue a letter rogatory on the nonparty Canadian entity while seeking to defend itself from computer fraud claims brought by WhatsApp Inc.

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