Archive: February 2020

1
Vaks v. Quinlan, et al. (District of Massachusetts, 2020)
2
Grande v. U.S. Bank National Association (W.D. Wash. 2020)
3
Grande v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al (Western District of Washington, 2020)
4
Allscripts Healthcare, LLC v. DR/Decision Resources, LLC d/b/a Decision Resources Group (District of Massachusetts, 2020)
5
Houston v. Southwest Airlines (N.D. Tex. 2020)
6
Houston v. Southwest Airlines (Northern District of Texas, 2020)
7
Lawson v. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc. (M.D. Penn. 2020)
8
White v. Relay Res. & Gen. Servs. Admin. (United States District Court, W.D. Washington, 2020)
9
Taylor v. Kilmer (Northern District of Illionis, 2020)
10
Nevis v. Rideout Memorial Hospital, et al. (E.D. Cal. 2020).

Vaks v. Quinlan, et al. (District of Massachusetts, 2020)

Key Insight: plaintiff violated the protective order by filing a pleading attaching confidential documents

Nature of Case: employment discrimintation

Electronic Data Involved: confidential documents protected under the protective order

Keywords: protective order, confidentiality

View Case Opinion

Grande v. U.S. Bank National Association (W.D. Wash. 2020)

Key Insight: The requested business guidelines were relevant. The scope of discovery is very broad. A request for discovery is relevant “unless it is clear that the information sought can have no possible bearing upon the subject matter of the action.”

The court declined to find the guidelines so confidential that they cannot be produced. Defendants did not move for a protective order nor did they provide any evidence of harm that would result from producing the guidelines.

Attorney fees were awarded to Plaintiff because Defendant caused substantial delay in responding to discovery despite Plaintiff’s multiple good faith attempts to obtain the requested discovery.

Nature of Case: Breach of Contract

Electronic Data Involved: Business Guidelines, Business Policies

Case Summary

Grande v. U.S. Bank National Association, et al (Western District of Washington, 2020)

Key Insight: Defendants here have not described any harm that would result from producing the guidelines and have not sought a protective order, the Court declines to find the documents so confidential that they cannot be produced

Nature of Case: bad faith and fraudulent banking

Electronic Data Involved: general discovery responses, voicemails, loan documents, loan history, and communications

Keywords: fraud, trade secrets, incomplete responses, bad faith

View Case Opinion

Allscripts Healthcare, LLC v. DR/Decision Resources, LLC d/b/a Decision Resources Group (District of Massachusetts, 2020)

Key Insight: enhancement of protective order to ensure heightened confidentiality of one document.

Nature of Case: breach of contract and false and misleading statements

Electronic Data Involved: confidentiality of proprietary aggregate data product

Keywords: protective order, heightened confidentiality

View Case Opinion

Houston v. Southwest Airlines (N.D. Tex. 2020)

Key Insight: The litigation was over employment discrimination based on disability. Plaintiff brought the suit pro se. After Plaintiff failed to time respond to Defendant’s discovery requests, Plaintiff filed a Motion for Summary Judgment that was primarily based on Defendant’s failure to produce evidence of her claims a Motion for CR 11 sanctions was also filed.

Defendant based its Motions on Plaintiff’s failure to produce evidence of her purported disability, that she provided notification to her employer of the disability and/or that her employer failed to provide reasonable accommodation for her purported disability. The Magistrate Judge recommended that the Court grant Defendant’s Motion and dismiss all of Plaintiff’s claims and causes of action with prejudice. However, the Judge did not recommend imposing CR 11 sanctions against Plaintiff.

Nature of Case: Employment Discrimination, Disability Discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Surveillance Videos

Case Summary

Houston v. Southwest Airlines (Northern District of Texas, 2020)

Key Insight: Failure to respond to Interrogatories and Requests for Admissions

Nature of Case: American’s with Disabilities Act

Electronic Data Involved: Hard copy; Discussion logs

Keywords: Sanctions; Attorney’s fees; Bad Faith; Inherent power; Intent

View Case Opinion

Lawson v. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, Inc. (M.D. Penn. 2020)

Key Insight: The court denied Plaintiffs’ requests for additional text message discovery or the forensic imaging of cell phone data. The court emphasized the privacy implications of producing broad cell phone data, which often contain “the most intimate of persona details on a host of matters, many of which may be entirely unrelated to issues in specific litigation.”

The court recognized “a more narrowly tailored request, supported by a more specific showing of relevance, might be appropriate.” The court directed the parties to work together to come to an agreement regarding the scope of a “carefully tailored, relevant search for such data.” Only if the parties cannot reach an agreement, would the court intercede.

Nature of Case: Fair Labor Standards Act, Employment Law

Electronic Data Involved: Text Messages, Cell Phone Data

Case Summary

White v. Relay Res. & Gen. Servs. Admin. (United States District Court, W.D. Washington, 2020)

Key Insight: good faith effort, a reasonable effort to respond must be made, obstructive and dilatory

Nature of Case: employment discrimination

Keywords: vague broad objections, Failing to fully investigate the case is not an excuse from making initial disclosures

View Case Opinion

Taylor v. Kilmer (Northern District of Illionis, 2020)

Key Insight: argue that those requests and subpoenas are overly broad

Nature of Case: Motor vehicle accident negligence, personal injury

Electronic Data Involved: medical bills, records, and data for treatment received over a year before incident pertaining to rate of reimbursement

Keywords: subpoena, provider billing structure, medical billing and records, overly broad and burdensome

View Case Opinion

Nevis v. Rideout Memorial Hospital, et al. (E.D. Cal. 2020).

Key Insight: At the start of litigation, Plaintiff sent a preservation letter to Defendant(s). Subsequently, a Defendant requested Plaintiff produce records and screenshots of text messages from his phone for the month of the incident that was the basis of the litigation. Plaintiffs produced several screenshots of text messages, but was unable to provide the requested phone records. During a subsequent deposition, Plaintiff claimed that he still had the phone.

Additional Defendants subsequently requested a digital download of all information on the phone. However, in response Plaintiff claimed that he no longer possessed the phone. Defendants responded with a Motion for Terminating Sanctions on the basis of spoliation of evidence.

Utilizing a five-part test for imposing sanctions adopted by the Ninth Circuit, the Court found that none of the factors were in favor of sanctions in the litigation. Defendants’ Motion for Terminating Sanctions was denied.

Nature of Case: Personal Injury

Electronic Data Involved: Cell Phone Data, Cell Phone Data Image, Text Messages, Phone Records

Case Summary

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