Davis v. Barnhart et al

Filing 323

ORDER re Discovery Dispute [209 in 3:09-cv-00980-EMC], [219 in 3:09-cv-00980-EMC]. Signed by Judge Nathanael M. Cousins on 03/15/12. (nclc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 3/15/2012)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 7 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 8 SAN FRANCISCO DIVISION 9 10 11 12 TERRENCE DAVIS, Case No. 06-cv-06108 EMC (NC) Plaintiff, v. ORDER RE: DISCOVERY DISPUTE 13 MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Re: Dkt. Nos. 299, 309 14 15 Defendant. _____________________________________ Related Case: No. 09-cv-00980 EMC (NC) 16 JOHN DOE, 17 Plainitff, 18 v. 19 20 MICHAEL J. ASTRUE, Commissioner of the Social Security Administration, Defendant. 21 22 At issue is defendant SSA’s privilege log addressing 271 entries disputed by 23 Plaintiffs. SSA withholds these documents based on the deliberative process privilege, 24 the attorney-client privilege, or the attorney work product doctrine. Brief ISO Priv. Log, 25 Dkt. No. 299, Exh. 1. Plaintiffs dispute application of the asserted privileges and request 26 production of all documents identified in SSA’s privilege log. Opp’n, Dkt. No. 309. 27 Alternatively, plaintiffs assert that their need for the documents overcomes the qualified 28 deliberative process privilege. Id. Case No. 06-cv-06108 EMC (NC) ORDER RE: DISCOVERY DISPUTE 1 2 3 In consideration of the representations made by the parties in their briefs and at hearing, the Court finds as follows: (1) SSA has met its burden as to the deliberative process privilege by 4 demonstrating that documents identified in its March 12, 2012 revised privilege log are 5 pre-decisional and deliberative. 6 (2) Plaintiffs have not overcome this qualified privilege and are, therefore, not 7 entitled to these documents. See FTC v. Warner Commc’ns, Inc., 742 F.2d 1156, 1161 8 (9th Cir. 1984). 9 (3) SSA has also met its burden as to documents withheld under the attorney- 10 client privilege and work product doctrines with two exceptions. First, plaintiffs asserted 11 during hearing that they no longer seek documents related to privilege log entries Nos. 32, 12 36, 65, 103, and 241. Second, the Court finds disputed log entry No. 4 (e-mail from SSA 13 to third party Marty Ford) falls outside the scope of the deliberative process privilege and 14 is not protected attorney work product. As to this document only, SSA is to make any 15 additional privilege assertions no later than Friday, March 16, 2012. The Court will 16 consider any further disputes about log entry No. 4 on shortened time. 17 IT IS SO ORDERED. 18 19 DATED: March 15, 2012 20 ___________________________ NATHANAEL M. COUSINS United States Magistrate Judge 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 Case No. 06-cv-06108 EMC (NC) ORDER RE: DISCOVERY DISPUTE 2

Disclaimer: Justia Dockets & Filings provides public litigation records from the federal appellate and district courts. These filings and docket sheets should not be considered findings of fact or liability, nor do they necessarily reflect the view of Justia.

Why Is My Information Online?