Integral Development Corp v. Tolat

Filing 147

ORDER RE: 127 THE PARTIES' JOINT DISCOVERY DISPUTE LETTER DATED AUGUST 22, 2013. Signed by Magistrate Judge Laurel Beeler on 9/13/2013.(lblc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 9/13/2013)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 Northern District of California 10 San Francisco Division INTEGRAL DEVELOPMENT CORP, 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 No. C 12-06575 JSW (LB) Plaintiff, ORDER RE: THE PARTIES’ JOINT DISCOVERY DISPUTE LETTER DATED AUGUST 22, 2013 v. 13 VIRAL TOLAT, 14 15 [Re: ECF Nos. 127, 131, 137] Defendant. _____________________________________/ 16 17 INTRODUCTION Integral has a Rule 45 subpoena to Mr. Tolat’s new employer EBS, and the parties dispute 18 whether it is too broad. See Joint Letter Brief, ECF No. 127; Separate Letter Briefs, ECF Nos. 131, 19 137.1 The court held a telephonic discovery case management conference on September 12, 2013 20 and issues this order memorializing its orders. 21 ANALYSIS 22 Integral narrowed its subpoena in a July 11, 2013 letter to EBS. See Ex. 9 to Russo Decl., ECF 23 No. 129-9. The parties dispute the following three areas: (I) whether the category requesting 24 communications by Dr. Tolat to EBS asks for information about broad and technical subjects that 25 comprise EBS’s legitimate foreign exchange trading business; (II) whether the category that asks for 26 27 28 1 Citations are to the Electronic Case File (“ECF”) with pin cites to the electronicallygenerated page numbers at the top of the document. C 12-06575 JSW (LB) ORDER 1 communications between EBS/ICAP2 and third parties referencing Integral’s executive staff or key 2 employees is too broad and creates a burden disproportionate to the possibility that it will yield 3 relevant information; and (III) whether the category that asks for communications between 4 EBS/ICAP and third parties identified through contact information from Dr. Tolat’s Blackberry is 5 not producible because (A) Dr. Tolat did not download his Blackberry contacts onto EBS’s server 6 (and EBS thus does not have them) and (B) they in any event are not trade secrets. Joint Letter 7 Brief, ECF No. 127 at 7 (EBS’s position); Ex. 9 to Russo Decl., ECF No. 129-9 at 2-3 (Integral’s 8 position).3 9 I. COMMUNICATIONS BY DR. TOLAT TO EBS 10 Exhibit 9, which is Integral’s proposed compromise, limits the information to 2012. That limitation takes care of the issue, and the court orders production for 2012. 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 II. COMMUNICATIONS TO THIRD PARTIES RE: INTEGRAL’S KEY EMPLOYEES 13 EBS proposed producing communications by Dr. Tolat that reference these identified persons. It 14 argues that a broader production is burdensome and implicates privilege issues. As the court 15 discussed with the parties at the hearing, starting with Dr. Tolat’s own communications will provide 16 illumination about who else might have relevant information and can provide a factual context for 17 any future productions that can be more targeted to increase relevance and reduce burden. 18 III. COMMUNICATIONS FROM BLACKBERRY CONTACTS 19 EBS says that Dr. Tolat did not download his Blackberry contact information onto their system 20 and that it does not otherwise have any contract information derived from Dr. Tolat’s Blackberry 21 contacts. That ends the issue. 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 2 ICAP apparently is EBS’s British affiliate. See, e.g., Ex. 3 to Russo Decl., ECF No. 129-3 at 4. 3 Integral’s arguments in the joint letter brief at ECF No. 127 are mostly about EBS’s failure to produce documents that it agrees are producible pending agreement on all issues. Joint Letter Brief, ECF No. 127 at 2. It then argues that the information sought is relevant, EBS needs to say what is privileged, and its refusal to provide documents is unreasonable. Id. at 2-3. To the extent that Integral’s arguments begin with its attempts to limit discovery as set forth in Exhibit 9, the discovery dispute really is captured in a comparison of Exhibit 9 to EBS’s position in the joint letter brief. C 12-06575 JSW (LB) ORDER 2 1 CONCLUSION 2 As the court discussed with the parties, iterative discovery means that the parties can start with 3 productions that illuminate the fact lay of the land, and then they can fashion more targeted requests. 4 That is the court’s approach here: start with more obvious categories (e.g., Dr. Tolat’s own 5 communications, Dr. Tolat’s pre-employment communications), see what they reveal, and target 6 future discovery based on the context of what is revealed. 7 This disposes of ECF Nos. 127, 131, and 137. 8 IT IS SO ORDERED. 9 Dated: September 13, 2013 10 _______________________________ LAUREL BEELER United States Magistrate Judge 12 For the Northern District of California UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 11 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 C 12-06575 JSW (LB) ORDER 3

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