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Case Blurb: U & I; Court wants Producing Party to clearly demonstrate irrelevance

Posted by rjbiii on December 5, 2007

[Producing Party] U & I argues in its motion for protective order that requiring [third party] Zimmer Spine to comply with the subpoena would be unduly burdensome, basically because the parties have already exchanged over 6,000 pages during discovery. U & I does not specify how Zimmer Spine’s compliance with a subpoena that AMD propounded would impact or burden U & I. Instead, U & I submits that the requests are irrelevant because U & I preserved AMD’s contractual rights in its distribution agreement with Zimmer Spine.
As a party to the case, U & I has standing to move for a protective order under Rule 26, Fed.R.Civ.P., if the subpoena seeks irrelevant information. See Auto-Owners Ins. Co. v. Southeast Floating Docks, Inc., 231F.R.D. 426, 429-30 (M.D.Fla.2005). Nevertheless, the party seeking a protective order still has the burden to demonstrate good cause, and must make a “particular and specific demonstration of fact as distinguished from stereotyped and conclusory statements” supporting its need for the protective order.

U & I has not demonstrated good cause for the protective order it seeks…

U & I Corp. v. Advanced Medical Design, Inc., 2007 WL 4181900 (M.D.Fla. Nov. 26, 2007) (internal citations removed, emphasis in the original)

Posted in 7th Circuit, Case Blurbs, Duty to Produce, FRCP 26, M.D. Fla., Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Jenkins, Objections to Discovery Requests, Relevance | Leave a Comment »

Case Blurb: U & I; Discussion of Court’s management of document production under FRCP 26(b)(1)

Posted by rjbiii on December 2, 2007

Rule 26(b) (1), Fed.R.Civ.P., which defines the scope of discovery, was amended in 2000. Rule 26(b)(1) provides that “[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party …” Further, “for good cause shown, the court may order discovery or any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1) (emphasis supplied).

The rule change was to involve the court more actively in regulating the breadth of sweeping or contentious discovery. Fed.R.Civ.P., Advisory Committee Note. The Advisory Committee intended by the rule change for the parties and the court to focus “on the actual claims and defenses involved in the action.” The rule change signals to the court that “it has the authority to confine discovery to the claims and defenses asserted in the pleadings …”

U & I Corp. v. Advanced Medical Design, Inc., 2007 WL 4181900 (M.D.Fla. Nov. 26, 2007) (internal citations removed, emphasis in the original)

Posted in 11th Circuit, Case Blurbs, FRCP 26(b), M.D. Fla., Magistrate Judge Elizabeth A. Jenkins, Scope of Discovery | Tagged: , | Leave a Comment »

Case Blurb: L-3; Elements of Spoliation, 11th Circuit

Posted by rjbiii on November 8, 2007

“‘Spoliation’ is the ‘intentional destruction, mutilation,alteration, or concealment of evidence.'” Federal law governs the imposition of spoliation sanctions in this case, but state law may be consulted to guide the Court in its analysis.

Generally, spoliation is established when the party seeking sanctions proves (1) that the missing evidence existed at one time;(2) that the alleged spoliator had a duty to preserve the evidence;and (3) that the evidence was crucial to the movant being able to prove its prima facie case or defense. Additionally, in this circuit sanctions for spoliation of evidence are appropriate “only when the absence of that evidence is predicated on bad faith. . . . ‘Mere negligence’ in losing or destroying the records is not enough for an adverse inference, as ‘it does not sustain an inference of consciousness of a weak case.'”

Lockheed Martin Corp. v. L-3 Communications Corp., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79572 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 25, 2007) (internal citations removed).

Posted in 11th Circuit, Case Blurbs, M.D. Fla., Sanctions, Spoliation | Leave a Comment »

Case Blurb: Seroquel; Federal Court’s authority to impose sanctions under FRCP 37

Posted by rjbiii on October 1, 2007

Pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37, the Court may impose broad sanctions for discovery-related abuses. Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37 governs a party’s failure to make a proper disclosure or cooperate in discovery. For purposes of Rule 37, an incomplete response is to be treated as a failure to respond. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(3). Rule 37(b)(2) states that a court may grant sanctions against a party that “fails to obey an order to provide or permit discovery.”

Sanctions may be granted against a party under Rule 37(b)(2) if there is noncompliance with a court order, notwithstanding a lack of wilfulness or bad faith, although such factors “are relevant … to the sanction to be imposed for the failure.” 8A Charles Alan Wright, Arthur R. Miller & Richard L. Marcus, Federal Practice & Procedure § 2283, at 608 (2d ed.1994); see Melendez v. Ill. Bell Tel. Co., 79 F.3d 661, 671 (7th Cir.1996) (“Bad faith … is not required for a district court to sanction a party for discovery abuses. Sanctions are proper upon a finding of wilfulness, bad faith, or fault on the part of the noncomplying litigant.”); Alexander v. Fed. Bureau of Investigation, 186 F.R.D. 78, 88 (D.D.C.1998) ( “In making the determination of whether to impose sanctions, Rule 37(b)(2) does not require a showing of willfulness or bad faith as a prerequisite to the imposition of sanctions upon a party.” (citations omitted)).

The district court has broad discretion to fashion appropriate sanctions for the violation of discovery orders. United States v. Certain Real Property Located at Route 1, 126 F.3d 1314, 1317 (11th Cir.1997); see also Nat’l Hockey League v. Metro. Hockey Club, Inc., 427 U.S. 639, 642, 96 S.Ct. 2778, 49 L.Ed.2d 747 (1976)); Friends of Animals, Inc. v. U.S. Surgical Corp., 131 F.3d 332, 334 (2d Cir.1997) (“A district court has broad power to impose Rule 37(b) sanctions in response to abusive litigation practices.”).

Posted in 11th Circuit, Case Blurbs, FRCP 37, M.D. Fla., Magistrate Judge David A. Baker, Sanctions | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »

Case Blurb: Seroquel; Reason to encourage parties to exchange Evidence in digital form

Posted by rjbiii on October 1, 2007

The goal is to maximize these potential advantages [of digital evidence, such as searchability] while minimizing the potential problems of incompatibility among various computer systems, programs, and data, and minimizing problems with intrusiveness, data integrity, and information overload.
(emphasis in the original)

In re SEROQUEL PRODUCTS LIABILITY LITIGATION, 2007 WL 2412946 (M.D. Fla. July 3, 2007).

Posted in 11th Circuit, Case Blurbs, Discovery Requests, Form of Production, M.D. Fla., Magistrate Judge David A. Baker | Tagged: | Leave a Comment »