Lopez Tax Service, Inc. et al v. The Income Tax School, Inc.

Filing 61

ORDER RE: JOINT DISCOVERY LETTER. Signed by Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley on 7/15/2013. (ahm, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/15/2013)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 8 FOR THE NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 9 10 Northern District of California United States District Court 11 12 LOPEZ TAX SERVICE, INC., et al., Plaintiffs, 13 14 Case No.: C-12-02654 JSW (JSC) ORDER RE: JOINT DISCOVERY LETTER v. 15 16 17 INCOME TAX SCHOOL, INC., Defendant. 18 19 The Court is in receipt of the parties’ joint discovery letter concerning the deposition of Sandra 20 Barrett. (Dkt. No. 60.) After carefully considering the parties’ arguments, the Court concludes that a 21 deposition of Barrett is warranted. 22 Plaintiffs assert that Barrett, a former employee of the predecessor company to 23 Defendant/Counter-Claimant Income Tax School, Inc., was the original author of four of the eight 24 allegedly infringing works at issue in this action. The works in question are all training materials for 25 income tax professionals, which Plaintiffs contend include non-copyrightable IRS materials. 26 Plaintiffs assert that Barrett’s deposition is necessary because, “[s]ince the basis for any copyright of 27 those works is as a compilation or a derivative, only this witness can identify what original material or 28 what original selection and arrangement of pre-existing government publications was created and 1 therefore what is the basis of ITS[’] copyrights.” (Dkt. No. 60 at 1.) Defendant does not argue that 2 Barrett’s deposition is irrelevant or unimportant to the case; rather, Defendant contends that Plaintiffs’ 3 request to depose Barrett should be denied because the request occurred on June 13, 2013, well after 4 the June 3 discovery cut-off, and Plaintiffs knew or should have already known of Barrett’s 5 importance to the case months earlier. 6 Although Plaintiffs likely should have realized during the parties’ depositions in December 7 that Barrett played a significant role in the development of some of the infringing works, Defendant 8 has failed to show how it would be prejudiced if Barrett were to be deposed now. Summary judgment 9 briefs are not scheduled to be filed until August 30, 2013, with a planned hearing for October 25, Northern District of California 2013. If her deposition is taken within the next few weeks, the parties’ schedule will be unaffected. 11 United States District Court 10 Further, it appears that Defendant’s own tardiness in responding to Plaintiffs’ interrogatories may 12 have contributed to Plaintiffs’ delayed deposition request. (See Dkt. No. 60 at 5 (“ITS answered the 13 Lopez Parties’ interrogatories on June 3, nearly two weeks after the May 22 due date and the day fact 14 discovery closed.”).) 15 16 Given her apparent significance to the case, deposing Barrett will contribute to a fair determination of this action. Plaintiffs’ request is accordingly GRANTED. 17 18 IT IS SO ORDERED. 19 20 Dated: July 15, 2013 _________________________________ JACQUELINE SCOTT CORLEY UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2

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