Baird v. Office Depot

Filing 30

ORDER by Judge Edward M. Chen Re 27 28 Parties' Joint Letters of July 19, 2013. (emcsec, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 7/24/2013)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 6 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 7 8 MICHAEL BAIRD, 9 Plaintiff, v. 11 For the Northern District of California 10 United States District Court No. C-12-6316 EMC OFFICE DEPOT, 12 Defendant. ___________________________________/ ORDER RE PARTIES’ JOINT LETTERS OF JULY 19, 2013 (Docket Nos. 27, 28) 13 14 15 Currently pending before the Court are two letters submitted by the parties regarding 16 discovery disputes. The disputes are related. In essence, the issue for the Court is (1) whether 17 Defendant should be required to respond to Interrogatories Nos. 2-5 and (2) whether Defendant’s 18 objection to Interrogatory No. 37 is proper. 19 The Court orders Defendant to respond to Interrogatories Nos. 2-5. The Court acknowledges 20 that this means that Plaintiff will be permitted to propound more than 25 interrogatories. However, 21 Rule 33(a) provides that “additional interrogatories may be granted to the extent consistent with 22 Rule 26(b)(2).” Fed. R. Civ. P. 33(a). Under Rule 26(b)(2), a court may consider whether “the 23 burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of 24 the case, the amount in controversy, the parties’ resources, the importance of the issues at stake in 25 the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 26(b)(2)(C)(iii). Here, the benefit of the discovery outweighs the burden, particularly because 27 Interrogatories Nos. 2-5 simply ask Defendant to provide facts supporting four affirmative defenses 28 – a very minimal burden. If Defendant has no facts to support an affirmative defense at the time, 1 then it should so state and it should also withdraw the affirmative defense. This would not, 2 however, preclude Defendant from seeking to amend its answer to add the previously pled 3 affirmative defense if, e.g., discovery reveals facts to support that defense. 4 As for Interrogatory No. 37, it provides as follows: “If Plaintiff had been promoted to and bonuses, assuming no time off for medical leave, through April 30, 2013?” Based on the joint 7 letter, it appears that Defendant’s main objection to the interrogatory is that “it improperly calls for 8 speculation and expert testimony.” Docket No. 28 (Joint Letter at 2). In spite of this objection, 9 Defendant has offered to provide Plaintiff with the potential salary range for Assistant Store 10 Managers in the stores where Plaintiff applied for the Assistant Store Manager position. This 11 For the Northern District of California Assistant Store Manager in January, 2012, how much would he have earned, per month, in salary 6 United States District Court 5 information would not include either overtime or bonus information. Defendant indicates that it 12 cannot provide overtime or bonus information because there is much variance depending on the 13 individual (particularly because bonuses are performance based). In response, Plaintiff asked for 14 “the directly comparable information of the Assistant Store Manager’s actual earnings during the 16- 15 month period.” Docket No. 28 (Letter at 1). 16 Plaintiff’s interrogatory is poorly worded. It asks how much he would have earned; it does 17 not ask how much other Assistant Store Managers have earned. Thus, Defendant’s point that the 18 interrogatory calls for speculation and expert testimony is well founded. Defendant has offered what 19 is, for the most part, a fair compromise. Thus, the Court orders Defendant to provide in an 20 interrogatory response what is the potential salary range for Assistant Store Managers in the stores 21 /// 22 /// 23 /// 24 /// 25 /// 26 /// 27 /// 28 /// 2 1 where Plaintiff applied for the Assistant Store Manager position. Defendant should also indicate, in 2 its response, whether that range accounts for overtime and/or bonuses. If not, then Defendant should 3 state what factors are considered in determining bonuses (as suggested in the joint letter). 4 This order disposes of Docket Nos. 27 and 28. 5 6 IT IS SO ORDERED. 7 8 Dated: July 24, 2013 9 _________________________ EDWARD M. CHEN United States District Judge 11 For the Northern District of California United States District Court 10 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3

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?