Guillen v. Bank of America Corporation et al

Filing 105

ORDER by Judge Paul S. Grewal granting in part 91 Ex Parte Application (psglc2, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 12/27/2011)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 11 SAN JOSE DIVISION 12 NARCIZO GUILLEN GUILLEN, 13 Plaintiff, 14 15 16 17 18 19 v. BANK OF AMERICA; SRA ASSOCIATES, INC.; and EQUIFAX INFORMATION SERVICES LLC, ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) ) Case No.: C 10-05825 EJD (PSG) ORDER GRANTING-IN-PART PLAINTIFF’S EX PARTE MOTION FOR ADMINISTRATIVE RELIEF (Re: Docket No. 91) Defendants. In this consumer fair debt collection practices action, Plaintiff Narcizo Guillen (“Guillen”) moves ex parte for administrative relief for an order to allow all deposition in this case to proceed 20 by telephone and/or video conference. Defendant Experian Information Solutions, Inc. 21 22 23 (“Experian”) is the sole Defendant to respond to Guillen’s motion. Guillen seeks to reduce the cost of this litigation by securing a court order permitting all 24 depositions to be conducted and recorded via remote means, either telephone and/or Skype 25 telephone and video. Guillen argues that his request relieves the court of the burden of individual 26 requests for remote deposition pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(4), for those instances in which the 27 parties are unable to reach a stipulated agreement. Experian does not dispute that telephone and/or 28 1 Case No.: C 10-05825 EJD (PSG) ORDER 1 video deposition may be appropriate, but objects to the blanket nature of the relief sought – prior to 2 Guillen’s engaging in meet and confer with Experian – as well as to the specific use of Skype 3 technology. According to Experian, Skype may compromise the security and integrity of the 4 process, presenting a risk that testimony involving confidential, proprietary, and trade secret 5 information will be exposed to a third party “listening in” to data transmitted over the system. 6 Experian offers to provide access to secure WebEx video conferencing, at no cost to Guillen, for 7 any telephone and/or video depositions of its witnesses.1 8 Fed. R. Civ. P. 30(b)(4) provides that a deposition may be taken via telephone or by other 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 remote means upon stipulation of the parties or by court order on motion. Consistent with its earlier 11 order granting Guillen’s motion to conduct a particular deposition by telephone and/or Skype video 12 conference,2 the court finds that Skype is an acceptable form of “remote means” within the 13 14 meaning of Rule 30, and a suitable vehicle to reduce litigation costs. Absent some evidence that Skype videoconferencing is inadequate for this purpose,3 the court hereby GRANTS Guillen’s 15 16 motion, subject to the following condition. This order does not relieve the parties of their 17 obligation to meet and confer on discovery matters. Should a defendant object to Skype technology 18 in particular, that party remains free to offer an alternative, remote solution to which the parties 19 20 21 22 1 See Docket No. 92 at 2 (Experian Information Solutions, Inc.’s Response to Plaintiff’s Ex Parte Application). 2 23 See Docket No. 78 (granting motion to conduct deposition via telephone and/or video conference (and simultaneously record as such)). 24 3 25 26 27 28 The court notes that in addition to the several Skype video depositions already taken in this case, Skype has been used or approved for deposition purposes in numerous other cases. See, e.g., Garcia v. Resurgent Capital Servs., Inc., 11-CV-01253-EMC (N.D. Cal. 2011) (Docket No. 57) (granting permission for all depositions to be taken via Skype videoconferencing, per stipulation of the parties); Degenhart v. Arthur State Bank, CV411-041, 2011 WL 4351491, at *3 (S.D. Ga. Sept. 15, 2011) (“[I]n the modern age … depositions are now readily taken inexpensively by internet video (e.g., Skype) or through somewhat more expensive, but still efficient, video conferencing facilities.”) (emphasis in original) (citing Sloniger v. Deja, 09CV858S, 2010 WL 5343184, at 1012 (W.D.N.Y. Dec. 20, 2010)). 2 Case No.: C 10-05825 EJD (PSG) ORDER 1 may stipulate. As to any upcoming depositions of Experian witnesses, the court further GRANTS 2 Experian’s request that the parties use WebEx instead of Skype. 3 IT IS SO ORDERED. 4 Dated: December 27, 2011 5 _________________________________ PAUL S. GREWAL United States Magistrate Judge 6 7 8 9 United States District Court For the Northern District of California 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 3 Case No.: C 10-05825 EJD (PSG) ORDER

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