Blount et al v. Morgan Stanley Smith Barney LLC et al

Filing 76

Order by Magistrate Judge Donna M. Ryu re 68 , 70 Discovery Letter Briefs.(dmrlc1, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 11/9/2012)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 JESSE BLOUNT III, et al., 12 13 14 Plaintiffs, No. C 11-02227 CRB (DMR) ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY LETTERS v. MORGAN STANLEY SMITH BARNEY LLC, et al., 15 Defendants. 16 ___________________________________/ 17 18 The parties filed separate letters outlining their discovery disputes on October 18 and 22, 19 2012, and filed supplemental letters on November 1 and 7, 2012. [Docket Nos. 68 (Plaintiffs’ 20 letter), 70 (Defendants’ letter), 73, 74.] The court held a hearing on the disputes on November 8, 21 2012, at which the parties were represented by counsel. Following an initial hearing, the court 22 ordered the parties to meet and confer in the courthouse regarding their disputes. The parties were 23 able to reach agreement on all but one issue. This order memorializes the ruling made at the hearing 24 on the remaining dispute. 25 Plaintiffs sought to compel the deposition of James Harrington, Plaintiff Jesse Blount’s 26 former manager. Mr. Harrington worked for Morgan Stanley & Co., which was Defendant Morgan 27 Stanley Smith Barney LLC’s predecessor. He left that employment in 2005 and now lives in 28 Oregon. (Defendants’ letter 4.) Plaintiffs represented that they sought to depose Mr. Harrington 1 regarding the allegation that in 2004, he “denied [Blount], because of his race and color, the 2 opportunity to enter into a lucrative partnership with [Financial Advisor] Krebill and thereby 3 prevented him from ‘inheriting’ Krebill’s accounts . . . upon the latter’s retirement.” (Plaintiffs’ 4 letter 2.) 5 At the hearing, Plaintiffs conceded that the 2004 events regarding Harrington’s alleged 6 denial of a partnership opportunity are not actionable as they are time-barred. Plaintiffs also 7 acknowledged that Plaintiff Blount had signed a release of discrimination claims arising before 8 February 2008 against Defendants. (Plaintiffs’ letter 4.) Plaintiffs’ amended complaint does not 9 allege discriminatory conduct that occurred before February 7, 2008 (Plaintiffs’ letter 4), and 11 2008 and during the liability period of this case, which started on June 4, 2010. (See Plaintiffs’ 12 letter 4 n.2.) However, Plaintiffs argue that they seek to depose Mr. Harrington to discover 13 potentially relevant “background evidence” of unlawful conduct. To the extent the information Mr. 14 Harrington possesses is well outside of the limitations period, the court concludes that the 15 information is not relevant and thus is not discoverable. 18 19 DERED O OR IT IS S Dated: November 9, 2012 . Ryu United States Magistrate Judge RT H ER 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 N A 21 LI onna M Judge D DONNA M. RYU NO 20 R NIA IT IS SO ORDERED. S DISTRICT TE C TA FO 17 S 16 UNIT ED For the Northern District of California Plaintiffs conceded that Mr. Harrington has no personal knowledge of events that occurred after RT U O United States District Court 10 F D IS T IC T O R C

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