Mitchell Engineering v. City and County of San Francisco et al

Filing 179

ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL re 174 (SI, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/27/2010)

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Mitchell Engineering v. City and County of San Francisco et al Doc. 179 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 v. CITY AND COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO, et al., Defendant. / MITCHELL ENGINEERING, Plaintiff, No. C 08-04022 SI ORDER RE: DEFENDANTS' MOTION TO COMPEL (Docket No. 174) IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA The City has filed a motion to compel Mitchell to produce to produce (1) financial documents identified during the deposition of Rene Lazure, Mitchell's CEO, and (2) emails about Mitchell projects. I. Financial Documents The City first moves to compel the production of "numerous financial documents" identified by Mr. Lazure during his deposition, including quarterly financial reports, backup data, project-specific reports, and profit and loss reports. The City acknowledges that after Mr. Lazure's deposition, Mitchell produced "monthly closing binders" for the time period at issue, but states that these binders "do not appear" to contain some of the documents identified by Mr. Lazure, including financial reports stored electronically rather than in hard copy. Mitchell has explained in its letter brief, however, that it has already produced all documents in its possession that were referenced during Mr. Lazure's deposition. Mitchell has produced, in total, 106 boxes of paper documents, as well as its entire "Timberline" database in which it electronically stores accounting data. Mr. Lazure testified during his deposition that the Timberline database essentially Dockets.Justia.com 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 contains all of Mitchell's financial information. Mitchell's production is therefore sufficient to meet the request, and the motion to compel the production of additional financial documents is DENIED. II. Email Production The City also moves to compel production of emails pertaining to Mitchell's performance on non-City construction projects. The Court has previously dealt with this dispute, and has found that emails relating to the non-City projects are relevant to the issue of Mitchell's financial condition. See April 13, 2010 and May 4, 2010 Orders (Docket Nos. 107, 122). In the prior orders, the Court informed the parties that it was unable to determine whether each of the proposed search terms was designed to uncover relevant information, and directed the parties to meet and confer to arrive at a reasonable list of terms. The City proposed a new set of 188 search terms on July 9, 2010. Mitchell then proposed that in lieu of conducting an email search for each of the 25 custodians encompassed by the request, it would provide hard copies of "job files" for the non-City projects. The City objects to that proposal on the grounds that paper files are less searchable than electronic files and likely will not contain all relevant emails, and moves to compel production of emails using its proposed list of search terms. The Court recognizes the City's desire to obtain the information it seeks in the most convenient format. However, after waiting more than two months since this dispute was last raised to pursue production of emails, it is unreasonable for the City to refuse to accept production of documents that will substantially provide it with the information it seeks. The Court has already issued a summary judgment order in this case, and trial is presently set to begin on August 30, 2010. At this late juncture, the Court is not inclined to order Mitchell to run 188 search terms whose relevance the Court cannot determine through its email databases when Mitchell has proposed a less burdensome alternative that will enable it to make immediate production. The motion to compel is DENIED as to email production and the parties are directed to proceed with Mitchell's proposed production of job files. III. Additional Depositions The City also states that in the event Mitchell plans to pursue its request to take an eleventh deposition, the City wishes to re-depose Curtis Mitchell and Michael Silva. As Mitchell has stated that 2 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 it is not seeking any additional depositions, the Court need not address the City's request. IT IS SO ORDERED. Dated: July 27, 2010 SUSAN ILLSTON United States District Judge 3

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