Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al

Filing 236

Letter from Plaintiffs per Paragraph 1.5 of the Court's Standing Orders. (Attachments: #1 Attachment to Letter to The Hon. Vaughn R. Walker)(Dettmer, Ethan) (Filed on 10/23/2009)

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Perry et al v. Schwarzenegger et al Doc. 236 Case3:09-cv-02292-VRW Document236 LAWYERS Filed10/23/09 Page1 of 2 GIBSON, DUNN &CRUTCHERLLP A REGISTERED LIMITED LIABILITY PARTNERSHIP INCLUDING PROFESSIONAL CORPORATIONS 555 Mission Street, Suite 3000 San Francisco, Calfornia 94105-2933 (415) 393-8200 EDettmer( October 23,2009 Direct Dial Client No. (415) 393-8292 Fax T 36330-00001 No. (415) 374-8444 The Honorable Vaughn R. Walker the United States District Cour for the Northern District of California 450 Golden Gate Avenue San Francisco, California 94102 Chief Judge of Re: Perry v. Schwarzenegger, Case No. C 09-2292 VRW Dear Chief Judge Walker: the Cour's Standing Orders, to request that the Court enter an order to compel compliance with outstanding discovery requests. I write pursuant to paragraph 1.5 of As the Cour knows, all paries are committed to an early trial date and, in furtherance of that commitment, the fact discovery cut-off is November 30, 2009. Plaintiffs served their First Set of Requests for Production of Documents on August 21, 2009-more than two months agoand the paries litigated, among other things, whether Proponents could withhold documents based on asserted protections under the First Amendment. Proponents claimed that production was inappropriate because "(s)upporters of Prop. 8 have been subjected to social disapprobation, verbal abuse, economic reprisal, vandalism of property, threats of physical violence, and actual physical violence" and that this "abuse" has "chiled. . . the exercise of First Amendment rights by supporters of the traditional definition of mariage." Doc # 187 at 20. But the Cour overrled Proponents' objection, finding that "Proponents have not however adequately explained why the discovery sought by plaintiffs increases the threat of har to Prop 8 supporters or explained why a protective order strictly limiting the dissemination of such information would not suffice to avoid future similar events." Doc #214 at 6. The Cour also overrled Proponents' relevance objections, with the exception of the objection that Request No. 8 was overly broad. The Cour directed plaintiffs to narow that request, and plaintiffs promptly did so, consistently with the Cour's direction. LOS ANGELES NEW YORK WASHINGTON, D.C. SAN FRANCISCO PALO ALTO LONDON PARIS MUNICH BRUSSELS DUBAI SINGAPORE ORANGE COUNTY CENTURY CITY DALLAS DENVER Case3:09-cv-02292-VRW Document236 Filed10/23/09 Page2 of 2 GIBSON,DUNN &CRUTCHERLLP The Honorable Vaughn R. Walker October 23,2009 2 Page As the Cour is aware, Proponents have asked the Cour for a stay of its October 1, 2009 Order. Doc #220. Although that request is pending and no stay has been ordered, Proponents have to date refused to produce any of the documents that were the subject of their unsuccessful motion for protective order. Proponents' refusal to tum over the documents interferes not only with plaintiffs' ability to review and evaluate documents for use at trial, but also with plaintiffs' ability to use the documents in depositions in this case, which are already under way. To advance the resolution of the case while the question of a stay is pending, and to Proponents' position on plaintiffs' ability to prepare this case for trial, plaintiffs asked Proponents more than a week ago to agree to the Cour's standard form of stipulated confidentiality order, and to begin producing the contested documents on a provisional "attorneys' eyes only" basis. See highlighted portions of attached email exchange between E. minimize the adverse impact of Dettmer and N. Moss. Plaintiffs explained that such production cannot cause the hars Proponents claim to fear because this information would be strictly confidential pending a final ruling on whether it is discoverable. Proponents have not ariculated any other concerns. But Proponents continue to insist that they wil produce no contested documents until there is no possibility of a stay from any Cour-presumably including both the Ninth Circuit and the Supreme Cour. See id., at p. 5. In essence, Proponents are asking this Cour for a stay of production while unilaterally creating their own "stay of production" which, though not ordered by this or any other cour, would likely outlast the fact discovery period in this case. Based on the foregoing, and on plaintiffs' need to move forward meaningfully with discovery in this case, plaintiffs respectfully request that the Cour immediately enter its standard form of confidentiality order, and direct Proponents to begin producing the contested documents immediately under a provisional "attorneys' eyes only" designation that wil remain in effect until the Cour resolves the pending motion for stay. This wil prevent any of the harms Proponents claim they fear, while at the same time allowing the parties to move forward with fact depositions that are necessary to bring this case to resolution on the time schedule entered by the Cour. We stand ready to discuss this with the Cour and counsel at the Cour's convenience. Ethan D. Dettmer Attachment cc: All Counsel l00750024_I.DOC

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