Wichansky v. Zowine et al

Filing 281

ORDER re: 279 Report - Other filed by Charles Johnson, Michael Narducci, Zoel Holding Company Incorporated, Kai Knowlton, Brett Costello, Martha Leon, Justin Grant, Alisa Ilardo, MGA Home Healthcare LLC, Mike Ilardo, Patricia Gonzale z, Sarah Shanahan, Pat Shanahan, Don Maniccia, David T Zowine, Andrea Costello, Karina Zowine, Rio Mayo, Set/Reset Deadlines/Hearing as to 279 Report - Other, 263 First MOTION in Limine re: Evidence of Initmidation and Manipulation, 264 Second MOTION in Limine re: Elizabeth Hogue Expert Report: Responses due 11/16/2015. Signed by Judge David G Campbell on 10/27/2015. (DGC, nvo)

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1 WO 2 3 4 5 6 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 FOR THE DISTRICT OF ARIZONA 8 9 Marc A. Wichansky, Plaintiff, 10 11 ORDER v. 12 No. CV-13-01208-PHX-DGC David T. Zowine, et al., 13 Defendants. 14 15 The Court has reviewed the matrix submitted by the parties pursuant to the Court’s 16 direction. Doc. 279. The numbered paragraphs that follow correspond to the issues 17 identified in the matrix. 18 1. Mr. Quinlan instructed Defendant Zowine not to answer questions about 19 three subjects: an email produced in the litigation, Mr. Zowine’s alleged gambling, and 20 Mr. Zowine’s mental health. Defendants do not dispute that these instructions were 21 given, but argue that the first category of questions concerned a document Mr. Quinlan 22 thought should be sequestered (Defendants do not say why). Defendants no longer claim 23 the document should be sequestered. Defendants assert that the latter two categories of 24 questions were irrelevant. 25 Rule 30(c)(2) is clear: 26 An objection at the time of the examination – whether to evidence, to a party’s conduct, to the officer’s qualifications, to the manner of taking the deposition, or to any other aspect of the deposition – must be noted on the record, but the examination still proceeds; the testimony is taken subject to 27 28 1 2 any objection. . . . A person may instruct a deponent not to answer only when necessary to preserve a privilege, to enforce a limitation ordered by the court, or to present a motion under Rule 30(d)(3). 3 4 Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(c)(2) (emphasis added). 5 Mr. Quinlan’s instructions were improper. Defendants do not contend that his 6 instruction not to answer questions about the document was based on a privilege or was 7 given to enforce a limitation ordered by the Court, and Defendants never presented a 8 motion under Rule 30(d)(3) with respect to the document. And instructions not to answer 9 based on irrelevancy are improper. See, e.g., Resolution Trust Corp. v. Dabney, 73 F.3d 10 262, 266 (10th Cir. 1995) (“It is inappropriate to instruct a witness not to answer a 11 question on the basis of relevance.”). 12 Plaintiff may resume the deposition of Mr. Zowine, to inquire into these three 13 topics only, in connection with other litigation events that will require Plaintiff’s counsel 14 to be in Phoenix. The resumed deposition will be limited to one hour. The Court makes 15 no determination regarding the relevancy of these topics at trial. Mr. Quinlan shall pay 16 the cost of the court reporter for this one-hour deposition. Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(d)(2). The 17 Court will not require payment of travel expenses for Plaintiff’s counsel because the 18 deposition will be held in connection with other Phoenix events, nor will the Court 19 require payment of Plaintiff’s attorneys’ fees because those fees would have been 20 incurred in completing the questioning if the instructions had not been given.1 21 2. The Court has reviewed the portions of the Glassman transcript provided 22 with the matrix (Doc. 279-2) and does not find that defense counsel engaged in improper 23 conduct or coaching. Defense counsel called for a break in the deposition and, during the 24 break, reminded the witness to be careful in responding to questions and seek 25 clarification if she was confused. This was not improper coaching. The witness then told 26 defense counsel that she had, in fact, been confused by questions asked before the break, 27 and defense counsel suggested the witness mention this to the questioning attorney and 28 1 This resumed deposition is a limited exception to the Court’s order at Doc. 280. -2- 1 clarify her answers when an appropriate opportunity arose. The witness did so after the 2 break, and appears to have provided candid clarification consistent with her earlier 3 testimony. 4 5 6 3. Plaintiff shall respond to the pending motions in limine on or before November 16, 2015. 4. Plaintiff, through his counsel, waived any privilege in the Plattner email by 7 not objecting to use of and questions about the email in the deposition of Rick Nye. See 8 Luna Gaming-San Diego, LLC v. Dorsey & Whitney, LLP, 2010 WL 275083, at *5 (S.D. 9 Cal. 2010) (“Under both state and federal law, if a privileged document is used at a 10 deposition, and the privilege holder fails to object immediately, the privilege is 11 waived.”); Brandon v. D.R. Horton, Inc., 2008 WL 2096883, *3 (S.D. Cal. 2008) (Failure 12 to assert the privilege at client’s deposition is clear proof that, even if there was a 13 privilege, it was absolutely and irrevocably waived, regardless of whether disclosure was 14 inadvertent); Federal Deposit Ins. Corp. v. Ernst & Whinney, 137 F.R.D. 14, 19 (E.D. 15 Tenn. 1991) (Finding a waiver of privilege where a document was marked as an exhibit 16 at a deposition without a claim of privilege or objection at the time); Perrignon v. Bergen 17 Brunswig Corp., 77 F.R.D. 455, 459 (N.D. Cal. 1978) (Waiver of privilege found where 18 information disclosed in deposition without objection). 19 5. By October 30, 2015, Plaintiff shall produce to the Court, in camera, copies 20 of the documents that Darrin Jeffries and his counsel found subject to production but that 21 Plaintiff instructed them not to produce. The Court will review the documents and 22 determine whether they should have been produced under Doc. 247. 23 6. The Court’s order with respect to Defendants’ work product claim was not 24 limited to “employee-to-employee” communications as Defendants suggest. Doc. 279-1 25 at 6. It included “documents that were compiled by Defendants’ employees, under the 26 direction of attorney Julie Nelson, for the purpose of responding to the AHCCS 27 investigation.” Doc. 247 at 4. Defendants describe the document in question as having 28 been “created exclusively for Julie Nelson, the Company’s lawyer, and was -3- 1 communicated directly to her.” Doc. 279-1 at 6. The document thus was created by 2 another in the company for use by Ms. Nelson, and Defendants do not dispute that it was 3 created as part of the investigation that was the subject of the Court’s previous order. 4 The Court declines Defendants’ request to sanction Plaintiff and hold the supplemental 5 expert reports inadmissible on this basis. 6 Dated this 27th day of October, 2015. 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 -4-

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