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LexisNexis® Mealey's™ Discovery Legal News

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Texas High Court: Attorney-Client Privilege Applies Despite Untimeliness
AUSTIN, Texas - A governmental body's failure to comply with certain deadlines in response to Texas Public Information Act (PIA) document requests does not waive the attorney-client privilege in protected documents, a Texas Supreme Court majority ruled Feb. 3, finding that the privilege constituted a "compelling reason" to maintain such documents' confidentiality despite the statute's public disclosure presumption that arises after deadline noncompliance (Ken Paxton, Attorney General of Texas v. City of Dallas, No. 15-0073 and 15-0238, Texas Sup., 2017 Tex. LEXIS 122).

Judge Says Ruling That Document Was Privileged Was Not Clearly Erroneous
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal judge in New York on Jan. 13 denied a reinsurer's challenge to a magistrate judge's ruling, finding that the magistrate judge's finding that a certain document was privileged was not clearly erroneous (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., No. 12-cv-00196, and Munich Reinsurance America, Inc., v. Utica Mutual Insurance Company, No. 13-cv-00743, N.D. N.Y.).

Company: Residents Should Return Privileged Documents In Tainted Groundwater Case
GREENVILLE, Miss. - The company sued by a group of residents seeking damages for personal injuries and groundwater contamination caused by hexavalent chromium and trichloroethylene (TCE) on Dec. 23 filed a brief in Mississippi federal court contending that the plaintiffs should return privileged documents that were obtained through a bankruptcy asset sale because the company did not forfeit its privileges to them (Joe E. Sledge, et al. v. Meritor Inc., et al., No. 16-CV-053, N.D. Miss.).

Attorneys Waived Privilege Over PowerPoint Presentations, Judge Rules
CHARLESTON, S.C - The contents of two PowerPoint presentations made by attorneys during town hall meetings held to persuade homeowners to join a proposed class action suit against the builders of their homes over alleged construction defects waived any work product protection over the information, a federal judge in South Carolina ruled Jan. 12 in denying the plaintiffs' motion to quash subpoenas (Jacqueline L. Craft, as Trustee of the Jacqueline L. Craft Trust, et al. v. South Carolina Plastering LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-5080-PMD, D. S.C.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4510).

Colorado High Court: Insurer Did Not Prove Documents' Trade Secret Status
DENVER - Finding that an insurer did not meet its burden to establish that claims-handling documents sought via discovery requests in a bad faith lawsuit constituted trade secrets, a Colorado Supreme Court majority on Dec. 5 affirmed a trial court's decision to not issue a broad protective order for the documents (In Re Stephen Rumnock v. Dennis Anschutz, et al., No. 16SA38, Colo. Sup.; 2016 Colo. LEXIS 1228).

Judge Assures Confidentiality Of Material In Asbestos- Related Reinsurance Case
PHILADELPHIA - A federal judge in Pennsylvania in a reinsurance dispute over asbestos-related claims granted on Feb. 2 an insurer's unopposed motion for the issuance of a protective order regarding confidential information (R&Q Reinsurance Company v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Insurance Company, No. 16-cv-01473, E.D. Pa.).

Maryland Magistrate Judge Grants Protective Orders In Franchise Agreement Dispute Over Renewals
BALTIMORE - A Maryland magistrate judge on Jan. 6 granted nine of 10 requests by a clothing store franchisor for a protective order against discovery requests, finding the requests overbroad or off-topic (Jos. A. Bank Clothiers Inc. v. J.A.B.-Columbia Inc., et al., No. 1:15cv3075, D. Md.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2113).

Federal Magistrate Grants Motion To Keep Insurer's Trade Secrets Confidential
OWENSBORO, Ky. - A Kentucky federal magistrate judge on Dec. 14 granted a disability insurer's motion for a protective order of confidentiality, finding that the information it wants to keep confidential qualifies as trade secrets because a competitor could gain an advantage over the insurer if it had access to the information (Paulette Owens v. Liberty Life Assurance Co. of Boston, No. 4:15-cv-00071, W.D. Ky.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172540).

Judge Signs Protective Order Governing Production Of Discovery In Qui Tam Suit
CAMDEN, N.J. - A New Jersey federal magistrate on Dec. 28 found that there is good cause for the issuance of a protective order that would govern the production of discovery by or on behalf of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) in all phases of a qui tam lawsuit brought against insurers under the federal and New Jersey false claims acts (United States of America and the State of New Jersey, ex rel. Elizabeth Negron v. Progressive Casualty Insurance Co., et al., No. 14-577, D. N.J.).

Club Owners: Judge Erred In Ordering Production Of Email Distribution List
MIAMI - A Miami nightclub and its affiliates on Dec. 30 filed a brief in Florida federal court arguing that a ruling by a magistrate judge that found that they had to produce an email distribution list of the club's members as part of discovery "implicates" third parties who have "no idea that their privacy rights are at issue" (Jaime Faith Edmonson, et al. v. Velvet Lifestyles LLC, et al., No. 15-24442, S.D. Fla.).

7th Circuit Says It Lacks Jurisdiction Over Appeals Of Discovery Rulings
CHICAGO - A Seventh Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals panel on Jan. 31 denied appeals from a company in a suit brought under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA), finding that it lacked jurisdiction to review three rulings on motions seeking discovery from a nonparty company based in England (P.H. Glatfelter Co. v. Windward Prospects Ltd., Nos. 15-3847, 16-1197, 16-1310, 7th Cir., 2017 U.S. App. LEXIS 1707).

Judge Orders Discovery Into Canadian Companies' Contacts With New Jersey
TRENTON, N.J. - Additional discovery is needed into two Canadian companies' contacts with New Jersey so that a woman can fairly contest motions to dismiss her asbestos action on jurisdictional grounds, a federal judge in New Jersey said Jan. 9 (Estelle Grimes, et al. v. AT&T Corp., et al., No. 15-8466, D. N.J.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 181534).

Google Ordered To Produce Foreign-Stored Data Sought By FBI Warrants
PHILADELPHIA - In a Feb. 3 ruling, a Pennsylvania federal magistrate concluded that compelling Google Inc. to comply with warrants requiring production of data stored in foreign-based servers to the Federal Bureau of Investigation "does not constitute an unlawful extraterritorial application of the" Stored Communications Act (SCA) (In re Search Warrant No. 16-960-M-01 to Google, No. 2:16-mj-00960 and In re Search Warrant No. 16-1061-M to Google, No. 2:16-mj-01061, E.D. Pa., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15232).

Split 2nd Circuit Declines To Rehear Suit Over Warrant For Foreign-Based Emails
NEW YORK - In a Jan. 24 ruling, the Second Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals denied the U.S. government's motion to rehear en banc a dispute in which a panel held that warrants issued under the Stored Communications Act (SCA) cannot be used to obtain emails stored in servers in other countries (In the Matter of a Warrant to Search a Certain E-Mail Account Controlled and Maintained by Microsoft Corp.[Microsoft v. United States], No. 14-2985, 2nd Cir.).

FBI Denies FOIA Violations In Group's Request For Biometrics Program Documents
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In an answer filed Jan. 23 in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation denied a privacy group's allegations that it violated the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) by not timely providing requested documents about the bureau's biometrics program (Electronic Privacy Information Center v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-02237, D. D.C.).

FBI Says Withholding Of IPhone Unlocking Details Is Supported By FOIA Exemptions
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 31 motion in District of Columbia federal court, the Federal Bureau of Investigation seeks summary judgment of a suit in which three news organizations allege Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) violations, with the bureau asserting that it withheld certain details related to the unlocking of a terrorist's smart phone out of national security concerns and to protect trade secrets of the vendor that unlocked the device (The Associated Press, et al. v. Federal Bureau of Investigation, No. 1:16-cv-01850, D. D.C.).

Government, Organization Argue Whether Official's Emails Are Private, FOIA-Exempt
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In a Jan. 19 reply brief filed in District of Columbia federal court, the U.S. government argues that the personal email account of the director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy (OSTP) is exempt from production in response to a group's Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request because the emails contained within it are duplicative of records already in the agency's possession that are subject to the FOIA (Competitive Enterprise Institute v. Office of Science and Technology Policy, No. 1:14-cv-00765, D. D.C.).

U.S. High Court To Decide Circuit Split On EEOC Subpoena Review
WASHINGTON, D.C. - Oral arguments before the U.S. Supreme Court are scheduled for Feb. 21 in the appeal of a pregnancy discrimination suit challenging the Ninth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals' application of a de novo standard of review to a trial court's determination of relevance of information sought by an Equal Employment Opportunity Commission subpoena (McLane Company, Inc. v. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, No. 15-1248, U.S. Sup.).

Magistrate: Trust Claim Information Discoverable, But Not Settlements
NEW ORLEANS - Claim information submitted to asbestos trusts is discoverable in an asbestos personal injury action, but information about past settlements with asbestos trusts or defendants is not, a Louisiana federal magistrate judge ruled Jan. 23 (Jesse Frank Sheppard v. Liberty Mutual Insurance Company, et al., No. 16-2401, E.D. La.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8595).

Professor, University: Glyphosate Documents Sought By Monsanto Are Confidential
SAN FRANCISCO - A professor and the university where she teaches filed a brief in California federal court on Jan. 12 contending that documents that were subpoenaed related to research on injuries allegedly caused by glyphosate exposure are property of the World Health Organization (WHO) and neither the professor nor the university are permitted to disclose them (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).

Florida Appeals Court Orders Foreign Adverse Event Reports To Be Redacted
WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - A Florida appeals court on Jan. 25 quashed a trial court order requiring Howmedica Osteonics Corp. to produce unredacted foreign adverse event reports about certain of its recalled hip prostheses (Howmedica Osteonics Corp. v. Joyce Trowbridge, et al., No. 4D16-2374, Fla. App., 4th Dist.; 2017 Fla. App. LEXIS 764).

Magistrate Judge Grants In Part Motion To Quash Subpoenas In Trade Secret Case
KNOXVILLE, Tenn. - A Tennessee federal magistrate judge on Dec. 13 granted in part a motion to quash the subpoenas duces tecum issued to Prochimie International Inc. and its officers in a misappropriation of trade secrets case, finding the request for documents overbroad (In re: Subpoena Duces Tecum of Prochimie International Inc., et al. v. Process Engineering Associates LLC, No. 3:16-cv-311, E.D. Tenn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 171813).

Some Phone Record Info Deemed Discoverable In FLSA Overtime Class Action
LOS CRUCES, N.M. - In a Jan. 24 order, a New Mexico federal magistrate judge found that limited non-private information about employees' cell phones and devices was discoverable in their overtime class action against their former employer brought under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), leading the magistrate to grant in part the defendant's motion to compel responses to two interrogatories (Jarrod B. Foster v. Nova Hardbanding LLC, et al., No. 2:15-cv-01047, D. N.M.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9835).

NHL Asks Federal Judge To Compel CTE Documents, Autopsy Report Of Former Player
MINNEAPOLIS - The National Hockey League (NHL) on Jan. 19 asked the federal judge overseeing the NHL concussion multidistrict litigation to compel the Boston University CTE Center to release documents relating to the chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE) research it conducts and the autopsy information of a former player whose estate is a lead plaintiff in the MDL (In re: National Hockey League Players Concussion Injury Litigation, MDL No. 14-2551, D. Minn.).

Judge Grants Stein Mart's Motion To Compel On 'Compare At' Claims
RIVERSIDE, Calif. - A California federal judge on Jan. 10 granted a retailer's motion to compel supplemental responses to certain discovery requests from a purchaser who asserts claims for violation of California's unfair competition law (UCL), false advertising and other claims related to its pricing (Marilyn Sperling v. Stein Mart Inc., et al., No. 15-1411, C.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS U.S. Dist. LEXIS 3668).

Judge Partly Grants Discovery Motion In Coverage Suit Over 'Sham' Investments
SEATTLE - A Washington federal judge on Jan. 25 granted in part an investment adviser's motion to compel discovery against a professional liability insurer in a coverage dispute arising from claims that the investment adviser misleadingly convinced a former client to invest in "sham" companies (Daeil Ro v. Everest Indemnity Insurance Co., et al, No. 16-0664, W.D. Wash.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 11106).

Porn Firm Tells 6th Circuit Downloader Failed To Show Prejudice In Dismissal
CINCINNATI - In a Jan. 13 appellee brief filed in the Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals, an adult entertainment company says that its abandoned infringement claim against an accused file sharer was properly dismissed with prejudice because of the defendant's dilatory discovery conduct and to serve judicial economy (Malibu Media LLC v. David Ricupero, No. 16-3628, 6th Cir.).

Directors And Officers Argue That Reinsurance Information Is Discoverable
SALT LAKE CITY - A group of an insolvent insurer's former directors and officers told a federal court in Utah on Jan. 27 that discovery of reinsurance information is relevant to their defense against the claims brought by the insolvent insurer (Western Insurance Company v. Dick L. Rottman, et al., No. 13-cv-00436, D. Utah).

Magistrate Judge: Migrant Tobacco Workers To Be Deposed In Mexico
LOUISVILLE, Ky. - A federal magistrate judge in Kentucky on Feb. 3 found that the owners of a tobacco farm who were sued for allegedly violating federal work visa laws will not face an undue hardship by having to depose a group of migrant workers in Mexico, denying the owners' motion for a protective order that would prohibit the depositions from taking place in Mexico (Martin Rico Murillo, et al. v. Tracy Dillard, et al., No. 1:15-CV-00069, W.D. Ky., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 15391).

Judge Orders New Deposition, Imposes Fees And Costs In Asbestos Witness Dispute
NEW ORLEANS - Producing an unprepared corporate witness who failed to answer almost 100 noticed matters despite months of preparation time was akin to offering no witness at all, a federal judge in Louisiana held Jan. 31 in ordering a new deposition and imposing costs and fees (Martha Denmon Storer, et al. v. Crown Cork & Seal Co., et al., No. 14-2488, W.D. La., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13349).

Federal Magistrate Judge Says Sanctions Against Insurer Are Not Warranted
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi federal magistrate judge on Feb. 2 denied a motion for sanctions filed by insureds seeking coverage for a gasoline leak because despite the insureds' contentions, the insureds were able to complete a deposition and obtained sufficient responsive answers from the insurer during the deposition (Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Tammy Cooley, et al., No. 16-39, S.D. Miss., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14615).

Ohio Federal Magistrate Awards Attorney Fees For Delayed Production Of Discovery
COLUMBUS, Ohio - An Ohio federal magistrate judge on Dec. 27 ruled that defendant brewing companies in a franchise agreement dispute with a beer distributor were entitled to an award of attorney fees and costs because, despite an expedited discovery schedule, the defendants' production was delayed (Southern Glazer's Distributors of Ohio, LLC v. The Great Lakes Brewing Co., et al., No. 2:16-cv-861, S.D. Ohio, Eastern Div.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178656).

Connecticut Federal Magistrate Judge: Review Of Memo Is Needed Before Production
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal magistrate judge on Jan. 27 determined that an in camera review of a memo produced by an insurer involved in an asbestos coverage dispute must be conducted to determine if the memo contains any privileged information (ITT Corp. and Goulds Pump Inc. v. Travelers Casualty & Surety Co., No. 12-38, D. Conn.).

Breach Of Contract, Bad Faith Suits Consolidated For Discovery Purposes
LOS ANGELES - A federal judge in California on Jan. 13 granted an insured's motion to consolidate its insurance breach of contract and bad faith lawsuit with a related action for discovery purposes, ruling that consolidation was appropriate because no parties opposed (Aspen Specialty Insurance Co. v. Riddell Inc., et al, No. 15-6324; and Bell Sports Inc. v. Aspen Specialty Insurance Co., et al., No. 16-8409, C.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7655).

Twitter Must Identify User Who Sent Seizure- Inducing Tweet To Writer
DALLAS - A journalist who suffered an epileptic seizure after receiving a tweet from an anonymous poster containing a strobe image was granted leave by a Texas judge on Dec. 19 to depose a representative of Twitter Inc. to obtain identifying information about the Doe poster for the purpose of pursuing legal action against him or her (In re: Petition of Kurt Eichenwald Requesting Pre-suit Deposition under Rule 202, No. DC-16-16077, Texas Dist., Dallas Co.).

Magistrate Denies Data Breach Plaintiffs' Motion To Depose Anthem CEO
SAN JOSE, Calif. - A California federal magistrate judge on Dec. 8 concluded that a requested deposition of the chief executive officer of Anthem Inc. was unlikely to uncover new information and had the potential for abuse, leading the magistrate to quash the deposition sought by the plaintiffs in a putative class action over Anthem's 2015 data breach (In Re: Anthem Inc., Customer Data Security Breach Litigation, No. 5:15-md-02617, N.D. Calif.).

Magistrate Judge Says Nonparty Doctor Can Be Deposed, Produce Records
NEW YORK - A nonparty doctor who worked for a chiropractic clinic accused of submitting fraudulent bills to Allstate Insurance Co. would not be overburdened by being deposed and producing records in response to a discovery request from the insurer, a federal magistrate judge in New York ruled Dec. 6 in denying the clinic's motion to quash a subpoena (Allstate Insurance Company v. Art of Healing Medicine P.C., et al., Nos. 14-CV-6756, 15-CV-3639, E.D. N.Y.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168554). CEO Maintains 1st Amendment Argument In Appeal Over Senate Subpoena
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In his Jan. 9 reply brief in the District of Columbia U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, LLC Chief Executive Officer Carl Ferrer defends his objections under the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution to a U.S. Senate subpoena that he says inappropriately seeks information and documents related to Backpage's protected editorial judgment and choices as an online intermediary (Carl Ferrer v. Senate Permanent Subcommittee on Investigations, No. 16-5232 and 16-5274, D.C. Cir.)

Professor, University: Health Agencies Ordered Them To Withhold Documents
SAN FRANCISCO - A professor and the university where she teaches filed a brief in California federal court on Dec. 6, contending that two international health agencies instructed them to withhold documents that were the subject of a subpoena filed by Monsanto Co. in litigation brought by a man who contends that he has been injured by exposure to the herbicide Roundup, which the company manufactures (In Re: Roundup Products Liability Litigation, MDL No. 2741, N.D. Calif.).

4th Circuit Seeks Guidance On South Carolina Trade Secret Privilege Rule
RICHMOND, Va. - The Fourth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals asked South Carolina's Supreme Court Nov. 29 to decide whether the state recognizes an evidentiary privilege for trade secrets, saying that "no directly controlling South Carolina authority answers this question" (Theodore G. Hartsock, Jr. v. Goodyear Dunlop Tires North America Ltd., et al., No. 16-1172, 4th Cir.; 2016 U.S. App. LEXIS 21326).

Federal Judge: State Court Should Decide If Presentation Is Privileged
CHARLESTON, S.C. - A federal judge in South Carolina on Dec. 28 denied a woman's motion to quash a subpoena seeking production of a Power Point presentation prepared by attorneys for potential class members of a construction defects lawsuit, finding that a state court judge presiding over a similar action should first decide if the presentation is protected by the work product doctrine (Jacqueline L. Craft, as Trustee of the Jacqueline L. Craft Trust, et al. v. South Carolina Plastering LLC, et al., No. 15-cv-5080-PMD, D. S.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 178679).

D.C. Federal Judge Orders Document Production In Lawsuit Against PBGC
WASHINGTON, D.C. - A District of Columbia federal judge on Dec. 20 ordered the U.S. Treasury Department to produce more than 100 documents it has withheld in a civil action against the Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp. (PBGC), saying that Treasury has "miserably failed" to explain its deliberative process privilege claims (U.S. Department of the Treasury v. Pension Benefit Guaranty Corp., v. Dennis Black, et al., No. 12-mc-100, D. D.C.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 175656).

Federal Magistrate Determines Memos, Emails Are Protected Under Work Product Doctrine
CHICAGO - An Illinois federal magistrate judge on Dec. 13 denied an insurer's motion to compel the production of unredacted documents and emails after determining that the documents and emails are protected under the work product doctrine because they were prepared in anticipation of litigation regarding coverage for the contamination of the insured's blood products (Baxter International Inc., v. AXA Versicherung, No. 11-cv-09131, N.D. Ill.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 172234).

Texas Appeals Panel Grants Partial Mandamus Relief For Document Production
DALLAS - A Texas appeals panel on Nov. 18 partially granted a petition for writ of mandamus in a breach of contract and theft of trade secrets action between two competing physician staffing businesses, finding that Staff Care Inc. was entitled to conditional mandamus relief directing the defendants to produce client match, placement and fee information because it was relevant to liability and likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence (In re Staff Care Inc., No. 05-16-00619-CV, Texas App., 5th Dist.; 2016 Tex. App. LEXIS 12426).

Newspaper Asks High Court To Hear Case On Mug Shot Privacy In FOIA Dispute
WASHINGTON, D.C. - In the wake of a split Sixth Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that overturned controlling case law pertaining to the privacy of criminal booking photos, a newspaper operator on Nov. 22 filed a petition for a writ of certiorari, asking the U.S Supreme to decide whether the photos are susceptible to production requests under the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) (Detroit Free Press Inc. v. U.S. Department of Justice, No. 16-706, U.S. Sup.).

Email Preservation Ordered In Russian Railcar Firm's Trade Secrets Lawsuit
SAN JOSE, Calif. - Finding that a Russian railcar company had demonstrated a likelihood of success in its claims against two former employees under the Defend Trade Secrets Act (DTSA), a California federal judge on Jan. 6 ordered the hosts of the employees' email accounts to preserve all electronic data associated with those accounts (OOO Brunswick Rail Management, et al. v. Richard Sultanov, et al., No. 5:17-cv-00017, N.D. Calif.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2343).

Withholding Of Surveillance In Injury Case Deemed Not Harmless, But Not Willful
SCRANTON, Pa. - A Pennsylvania federal judge on Jan. 3 concluded that the operator of a Poconos resort had no justification for not timely submitting video surveillance discovery in a personal injury suit, but because he found the failure to have not been in bad faith, the judge stopped short of granting the plaintiffs' motion to strike use of the surveillance materials at trial (Brian Perez, et al. v. Great Wolf Lodge of the Poconos LLC, et al., No. 3:12-cv-01322, M.D. Pa.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 308)

Judge: Asbestos Document Request Overly Broad, But Some Production Warranted
PHILADELPHIA - A company's failure to comply with a state court motion to compel does not warrant sanctions because the request is overly broad, but going forward, the company must produce documents relevant to product identification testimony in an asbestos case, a federal magistrate judge held Dec. 6 (William Ney, et al. v. Owens-Illinois Inc., et al., No. 16-2408, E.D. Pa.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 169371).

Federal Magistrate Judge Says Insurer Must Produce Information On Other Claims
HATTIESBURG, Miss. - A Mississippi federal judge on Jan. 6 partially granted a motion to compel filed by insureds seeking coverage for a gasoline leak after determining that the insurer is required to produce information related to the insurer's claims handling of other gasoline leak claims (Grain Dealers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Tammy Cooley, et al., No. 16-39, S.D. Miss.; 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2157).

Federal Judge Partially Grants Discovery Related To Reverse Mortgage
NEW HAVEN, Conn. - A Connecticut federal judge on Dec. 30 partially granted a property owner's request for production of documents in relation to his reverse mortgage but denied the motion as to his request regarding certain policies of the lender (Vincent Bartold v. Wells Fargo Bank, N.A., No. 14-cv-00865, D. Conn.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 180216).

Magistrate Judge Instructs Insurer, Reinsurer About Allowed Discovery
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A federal magistrate judge in New York on Dec. 8 granted in part an insurer's and a reinsurer's motions to compel discovery information from each other regarding alleged obligations under certain reinsurance agreements (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. Century Indemnity Company, No. 13-cv-00995, N.D. N.Y.).

Massachusetts Federal Judge Rejects DTSA Defense, Issues Order To Recover Documents
WORCESTER, Mass. - A Massachusetts federal judge on Dec. 6 issued a preliminary injunction ordering a former employee of a financial protection benefits provider to return and destroy all copies of documents he was seen taking from his workplace, rejecting the employee's contention that his actions are exempt under the Defend Trade Secrets Act of 2016 (DTSA) (Unum Group v. Timothy P. Loftus, No. 4:16-cv-40154, D. Mass.; 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 168713).

Judge OKs Insurer/Reinsurer Stipulation On Handling Of Confidential Materials
BOSTON - A federal judge in Massachusetts on Dec. 28 approved a stipulation between an insurer and reinsurer regarding confidential materials and cautioned that the burden of proving the need for confidentiality falls to the impoundment-seeking party (Lamorak Insurance Company v. Everest Reinsurance Co., No. 15-cv-13425, D. Mass.).

Reinsurer Says It Does Not Have Some Of The Discovery Information Requested
SYRACUSE, N.Y. - A reinsurer told a federal court in New York on Dec. 30 that an insurer's request regarding testimony from its corporate designee is improper because among other reasons, the reinsurer says, it does not have the information the insurer seeks (Utica Mutual Insurance Company v. R&Q Reinsurance Company, No. 15-cv-00270, N.D. N.Y.).