Barker v. Insight Global, LLC

Filing 125

ORDER by Magistrate Judge Howard R. Lloyd re 105 Discovery Dispute Joint Report No. 5. (hrllc2S, COURT STAFF) (Filed on 10/13/2017)

Download PDF
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 9 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 10 SAN JOSE DIVISION United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 JOHN BARKER, Plaintiff, 13 14 15 Case No.5:16-cv-07186-BLF (HRL) ORDER RE DISCOVERY DISPUTE JOINT REPORT NO. 5 v. INSIGHT GLOBAL, LLC, et al., Re: Dkt. No. 105 Defendants. 16 17 INTRODUCTION 18 19 In Discovery Dispute Joint Report #5 (“DDJR #5”), Insight Global (“Insight”) seeks an 20 order requiring production of certain employment compensation documentation it claims to need 21 to support its counterclaims (a) that plaintiff Barker disclosed “confidential” compensation 22 information to Beacon Hill about three of his former Insight colleagues (Cronin, McArthur, and 23 Verduzco), and (b) that he violated his contractual obligations to Insight by soliciting the 24 aforementioned 3 individuals to quit Insight and come to work for Beacon Hill. Insight 25 propounded requests for production of documents to Barker and served subpoenas on Beacon Hill 26 and the 3 individuals. (For convenience, Barker, Beacon Hill, as well as the 3 individual non- 27 parties will, unless the context indicates otherwise, be jointly referred to here in the singular as 28 “Barker.”). 1 Barker objected to the discovery requests as too broad and overreaching. Then, Insight 2 proposed what it characterized as a narrowed version of what it wanted. Barker said no to that as 3 well. Barker’s proposed compromise was rejected by Insight. In DDJR #5, the court once again 4 is called upon to referee a dispute between the two sides on the proper scope of allowable 5 discovery. 6 This is what Insight wants: 7 1. Any Beacon Hill offer letters to plaintiff, Cronin, McArthur, and Verduzco with related 8 9 correspondence; 2. Any Beacon Hill employment agreement signed by plaintiff, Cronin, McArthur, and Verduzco with related correspondence, including texts or e-mails about oral 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 agreements; 12 13 14 15 3. Documents sufficient to show the initial Beacon Hill salary/compensation package for plaintiff, Cronin, McArthur, and Verduzco; and 4. A reopening of the depositions of plaintiff, Cronin, McArthur, and Verduzco to question them about the to-be produced documents. DISCUSSION 16 17 Insight tells the court it needs documents to show that plaintiff Barker divulged 18 “confidential” salary information about his 3 former co-workers to Beacon Hill and that he 19 solicited the 3 to come to work at Beacon Hill. However, requests seeking, in effect, all 20 documents concerning the establishment of plaintiff’s, Cronin’s, McArthur’s, and Verduzco’s 21 employment with Beacon Hill are not cabined by the discrete issues Insight says it wishes to 22 address. This is another example of Insight’s interest in getting hold of a mass of information, 23 which may or may not contain information on the issues at hand, rather than asking for discovery 24 on the issues themselves. 25 Insight has not satisfied the court that the offer letters, employment letters, and the 26 associated correspondence, etc. as pertain to Cronin, McArthur, and Verduzco should be 27 produced, except as follows: documents which constitute, state, discuss, mention, allude to, or 28 reference (a) whether or not they had been solicited by plaintiff Barker, and (b) whether plaintiff 2 1 Barker disclosed their Insight compensation to Beacon Hill. Responsive documents, if any, shall 2 be produced. 3 Insight also argues that the personnel documents of Cronin, McArthur, and Verduzco (and 4 including plaintiff Barker’s as well) should be produced because they might show that Barker had 5 promised the other 3, as part of his alleged “solicitation,” that Beacon Hill would cover their 6 attorney fees if they were sued for jumping ship to Beacon Hill. This “promise to pay attorney 7 fees” issue is also the subject of DDJR #1, which remains under submission. The court defers 8 ruling at this time and will do so in conjunction with its ruling on DDJR #1. 9 As for plaintiff Barker, Insight has not persuaded the court that his personnel documents should be turned over, except as follows: documents that constitute, state, discuss, mention, allude 11 United States District Court Northern District of California 10 to, or reference: (a) whether or not he had or was or, prospectively, would solicit Cronin, 12 McArthur, or Verduzco to quit Insight and come to work for Beacon Hill, and (b) whether he 13 disclosed compensation information about the 3 to Beacon Hill. Also, on account of plaintiff 14 Barker’s complaint, and not because of the counterclaim (which was the ostensible springboard for 15 DDJR #5), plaintiff Barker shall produce documents sufficient to show his complete, initial 16 compensation package from Beacon Hill. There are two reasons for this. One is because his 17 claim for wrongful termination seeks damages for lost “front pay” (future earnings), and what he 18 earned at Beacon Hill would offset any such damages. The second is because Insight has offered 19 some evidence suggesting that Beacon Hill paid to plaintiff Barker the amount of his deferred 20 compensation that Insight refused to pay him when he was fired. If this is true, it might (the court 21 offers no opinion on this) undercut his claim against Insight to recover that compensation. 22 Responsive documents will be produced. 23 Barker shall produce documents within 15 days from the filing of this order. Any 24 documents withheld on the basis of attorney-client privilege or the work product doctrine shall be 25 properly described in a privilege log. Barker shall certify that all responsive documents have been 26 produced. Except as stated in this order, Insight’s request for an order to produce documents is 27 28 3 1 2 3 denied. No depositions will be reopened. SO ORDERED. Dated: October 13, 2017 4 5 HOWARD R. LLOYD United States Magistrate Judge 6 7 8 9 10 United States District Court Northern District of California 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 4

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?