Robert Half International Inc. v Ainsworth
ORDER: The motion for leave to file amended counterclaims (Dkt #s 33 , 37 ) is granted. Defendants shall file the First Amended Counterclaims within ten (10) days from the date of this Order. The motions to file documents under seal (Dkt #s 31 , [ 41]) are granted. The motion for leave to file a first amended complaint (Dkt # 43 ) is granted. Plaintiff shall file the First Amended Complaint within ten (10) days from the date of this Order. The motion to amend scheduling order (Dkt # 43 ) is referred to Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick. Signed by Judge William Q. Hayes on 7/15/2015. (mdc)
2015 JUL 15 Pti 3: 53
c.'. i II "
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
ROBERT HALF INTERNATIONAL,
INC., a Delaware corporation,
CASE NO. 14-CV-2481-WQH (DHB)
ERIC SHANE AINSWORTH, an
individual; LISA LYNN ALDAV A,
an individual' SERENA MAl
RUBEN D . HEKNANDEZ, an
individual' DEANA H.
SCHWEITZE~ an individual;
CATHERINE ~ . SHERMAN, an
individual; and DOES 1 through 20,
1911 HAYES, Judge:
The matters before the Court are: (1) the motion for leave to file amended
21 II counterclaims (ECF Nos. 33,37) filed by Defendants; (2) the motion to file documents
22 II under seal (ECF No. 31) filed by Defendants; (3) the motion to file documents under
23 II seal (ECF No. 41) filed by Plaintiff; and (4) the motion for leave to file first amended
complaint and to amend scheduling order (ECF No. 43) filed by Plaintiff.
On September 23, 2014, Plaintiff Robert Half International Inc. ("RBI")
2711 commenced this action by filing a Complaint in San Diego County Superior Court.
28 II (ECF No. 1-1). The Complaint alleges that Defendants, Plaintiffs fonner employees,
14-C V-2481 -WQH (DHB)
1 II breached their respective employment agreements and engaged in unfair competition
2 II after terminating employment with Plaintiff and going to work
3 /I Complaint alleges that Defendants violated Paragraph Thirteen of their respective
411 employment agreements by "touting [their] RBI experience and background for [their]
511 new employer[s'] benefit."J
6 II claims
No. 1-1 at 16,21,25,27). The Complaint
breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duty, breach of the implied covenant
with DrOSDectlVe economiC
and fair dealing, tortious
8 advantage, violation
Lanham Act, violation ofCalifornia Business & Professions
9 II Code section 17200, and common law unfair competition.
On October 17, 2014, Defendants
Ainsworth, Lisa Aldava, Serena
11 II Greenwood, Ruben Hernandez, Jr., Deana Schweitzer, and Catherine Sherman removed
1211 the action to this Court on the basis offederal question jurisdiction. (ECF No.1). On
13 II October 23,2014, Defendants filed a motion to dismiss the Complaint.
14 II On December 17, 2014, the Court issued an Order, granting in part and denying in part
15 II the motion to dismiss. (ECF No.1 0). The Court dismissed Plaintiff's second, eighth,
16 II ninth, twelfth, thirteenth, fourteenth, fifteenth, seventeenth, and eighteenth claims
of contract and breaches of the implied covenant
18 II dealing "only to the extent these claims seek to
19 II employment agreements." ld. at 23.
good faith and fair
Paragraph Thirteen of the
Court found that
20 II allege sufficient facts 'plausibly suggestive of a claim entitling the plaintiff to relief'
breach of Paragraph 13, Le., facts showing that Paragraph 13 is enforceable." ld.
22\\ at 10 (citation omitted). The Court dismissed Plaintiff's sixth and tenth claims for
Paragraph Thirteen of
After termination of Employee's employment with Employer, Employee
shall not indicate on any' statlonary, business card, advertising, solicitatlOn
or other business materials that Employee is or was formerly an employee
of Employer, any of its divisions, or any of the RBI Companies except in
the bona tide submission ofresumes and the filling out of applications in
the course of seeking employment.
(ECF No. 1-1
III tortious interference with prospective economic advantage as displaced by the
On December 30, 2014, Defendants filed an Answer
Counterclaims for Breach
No. 12) and
Contract and Unfair Competition
No. 13). On
5 January 23, 2015, Plaintiff filed a Motion to Dismiss Counterclaims for Breach
6 Contract and Unfair Competition or, in
Alternative, for a More Definite Statement.
No. 19). On March 16,2015, the Court issued an Order granting the motion to
8 II dismiss. (ECF No. 28). The Court found that Defendants had faBed to allege sufficient
9 facts to state plausible breach of contract and unfair competition claims. The Court
10 granted Defendants thirty days to file a motion for leave to file amended counterclaims.
On February 11, 201
12 Scheduling Order, giving the parties until May 13,
David Bartick issued a
15, to file "[a]ny motion to join
13 other parties, to amend the pleadings, or to file additional pleadings .... "
14 at 1).
On April 15 and 16,2015, Defendants filed
16 counterclaims, accompanied by the motion to file documents under seal. (ECF Nos.
17 33,34,37). On May 1 2015, Plaintiff filed an opposition. (ECF No. 41). On May
Plaintiff filed the motion to file documents under seal. (ECF No. 41). On
19 May 19,2015, Defendants filed a reply. (ECF No. 45).
On May 13, 2015, Plaintiff filed the motion for leave to file a first amended
2111 complaint and to amend scheduling order. (ECFNo.
). On June 1,201
22 filed a response. (ECF No. 50). On June 8, 2015, Plaintiff filed a reply. (ECF No. 53).
A. Defendants' Motion for Leave to File Amended Counterclaims
(ECF Nos. 33, 37)
Defendants request leave to file amended counterclaims. Defendants
27 II Plaintiff aQIees that amendment is appropriate, based on
28 II motion to
contentions in its
Defendants' counterclaims. Defendants contend that their proposed
1 amended counterclaims include more factual allegations. Plaintiff contends that
because Defendants have failed to establish standing
3 pursuant to California Business and Professions Code section 17200.
Federal Rule of Civil Procedure IS mandates that
to amend "be
S II given when justice so requires." Fed. R. Civ. P. IS(a). "This policy
6 II with extreme liberality." Eminence Capital, LLC v. Aspeon, Inc., 316
2003) (quotation omitted).
considers whether there
determining whether to allow an amendment,
"undue delay," "bad faith," "undue prejudice to the
9 1/ opposing party," or "futility of amendment." F oman v. Davis, 371 U.S. 178. 182
10 II (1962). "Not
11 II ofprejudice
12 II 316 F.3d
merit equal weight.. .. t is the consideration
the opposing party that carries the
weight." Eminence Capital,
1OS2 (citation omitted). "The party opposing amendment
showing prejudice." DCDPrograms, Ltd. v. Leighton, 833 F.2d 183,187 (9th
1987). "Absent prejudice, or a strong showing ofany ofthe remaining Foman factors,
exists a presumption under Rule 1
After review of the motion for leave to file amended counterclaims and all
18 II related
the Court concludes that Plaintiff has
made a sufficiently strong
19 II showing of the Foman factors to overcome the presumption under Rule IS(a) in favor
20 II of granting
21 II leave to
Eminence Capital, 316
d at 10S2.
amended counterclaims is granted.
B. Defendants' Motion to File Documents Under Seal (ECF No. 31)
Defendants attach a proposed amended counterclaims to their motion to file
24 II amended counterclaims. Defendants lodged conditionally under seal Exhibits A and
to the proposed amended counterclaims. (ECF No. 3S). Exhibits A
Defendant Aldava and Sherman's Compensation
Defendants contend that
cause to file these exhibits under seal because
are designated as "confidential" pursuant to the parties' stipulated protective order
1 II signed by Magistrate Judge David Bartick.
"Historically, courts have
right to inspect and copy public
3 II records and documents, includingjudicial records and documents. '" Kamakana v. City
4 and County of Honolulu, 447 F.3d 11
5 Warner Commc 'ns, Inc., 435 U.S. 589, 597 &
(1978». In the Ninth Circuit, there
v. State Farm Mut.
strong presumption in favor of access to court records."
7 Auto. Ins. Co., 331 F.3d 11
2006) (quoting Nixon v.
1135 (9th Cir. 2003); see also Kamakana, 447 F.3d
presumption of access to judicial
applies fully to
10 dispositive pleadings, including motions for summary judgment and related
attachments .... [T]he resolution ofa dispute on the merits, whether by trial or summary
at the heart of the interest in ensuring the 'public's understanding of the
13 judicial process and of significant public events. '" Kamakana, 447 F.3d at 1179
14 (quoting Valley Broadcasting Co. v.
Ct. for Dist. ofNev. , 798 F.2d 1289,
1294 (9th Cir. 1986». "Thus, 'compelling reasons' must be shown to seal judicial
16 II records attached to a
access applies to sealed discovery
18 II documents attached to non-dispositive motions. Id. "Specifically, the public
19 II of a need for access to court records attached only to non-dispositive motions because
20 II those documents are often unrelated, or only tangentially related, to
2111 cause of action." Id. (citations and internal quotations omitted). "A 'good cause'
22 II showing under Rule 26( c) will suffice to keep sealed records attached to non
23 II dispositive motions." Id. at 1180.
The existence of a protective order sealing
documents is sufficient to demonstrate "good cause." Id. at 1179-80.
Exhibits A and B are subject
2611 therefore shown good cause to file under seal
s protective order. Defendants
to the proposed
1 II amended counterclaims. Defendants' motion to file documents under seal is granted. 2
C. Plaintiff's Motion to File Documents Under Seal (ECF No. 41)
Plaintifflodged two exhibits conditionally under seal in opposition to the motion
411 for leave to file amended counterclaims. (ECF No. 42). These exhibits consist of
5 portions of Defendants Sherman and Greenwoods depositions. Plaintiff contends that
6 there is good cause to seal these exhibits because they are designated as "confidential"
7 pursuant to the parties' stipulated protective order signed by Magistrate Judge David
These exhibits are subject to the Court's protective order. Plaintiffhas therefore
10 shown good cause to file these exhibits under seal. Plaintiffs motion to file documents
under seal is granted.
D. Plaintiff's Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Complaint
and Amend Scheduling Order (ECF No. 43)
a. Motion for Leave to File a First Amended Complaint
Plaintiff requests leave to amend in order to add a claim for misappropriation of
16 trade secrets against Defendants Aldava, Greenwood, Sherman, and Hernandez.
17 Plaintiff asserts that, "[ s]ince filing its original complaint, RHI has discovered that after
18 they left RHI, Defendants Aldava, Greenwood, Sherman, and Hernandez each
19 possessed RBI documents containing RHI's confidential business information and
20 trade secrets." (ECF No. 43-3 at 5). Plaintiff asserts that it learned information related
to Defendants' misappropriation of trade secrets during the course of discovery.
2 However, Defendants must file a second motion to file documents under seal
23 II if they seek to file exhibits to their First Amended Counterclaims under seal. If they
choose to do so, Defendants will be required to meet the cO!llj)ellinK reasons standard.
2411 See, e.g., Baldwin v. Us., 732 F. Supp. 2d 1142, 1145 (D. N: Mar.-I. 2010) (applying
compellmg reasons standard to complaint exhibIts filed under seal because the claims
25 themselves arose from the exhibits in question); Delphix Corp. v. Actifio, Inc., No. 13
cv-04614 2014 WL 4145520 at * 1 n.2 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 20,2014) (to same effect)·
26' Billman Fray., LLC v. Bank;1Am. N.A., No.2: 15-cv-00088, 2015 WL 575926, at * 1
(D. Nev. FeD. 11, 2015) ("Altbough the Ninth Circuit has not ruled on the issue, other
27 II courts in this circuit have held that a party seeking to seal documents attached to the
complaint must show compelling reasons, and the court finds those cases persuasi ve.")
28 II (colfecting cases).
- 6 -
1 II Plaintiffcontends that
Farnan factors all weigh in favor ofgranting leave to amend.
211 "Defendants do not oppose RBI's request to file an amended complaint to add causes
3 II of action for trade secret misappropriation." (ECF No. 50 at 2).
s unopposed motion for leave
file a first amended complaint is
b. Motion to Amend Scbeduling Order
Plaintiff requests that the Scheduling Order be amended as follows: (1) extend
8 II the deadline to amend pleadings "within two weeks after [Roth Staffing Companies,
911 L.r. ('Roth')] fully complies with the subpoena issued by
10 II expert disclosure deadline from May 1 201
; (2) extend Plaintiffs
to fifteen days from the date this Order
11 II is filed; (3) extend Defendants' expert disclosure deadline from May
1211 days from the date this Order
filed; and (4) to extend the deadline
expert disclosures to forty-four days from the date this Order is filed. Plaintiff
14 that it may
another amended complaint, depending on Roth's (a non-
15 II party) responses to subpoena requests. (ECF No. 43
the motion to amend scheduling order to United
17 Magistrate Judge David H. Bartick, the magistrate judge assigned to this case who
issued the Scheduling Order pursuant to Local Civil Rule 16.2.
1 V. Conclusion
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that the motion for leave to file amended
3 counterclaims (ECF Nos. 33, 37) is GRANTED. Defendants shall file the First
4 Amended Counterclaims within ten (10) days from the date of this Order.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motions to file documents under seal (ECF
6 Nos. 31, 41) are GRANTED.
IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion for leave to file a first amended
8 complaint (ECF No. 43) is GRANTED.
Plaintiff shall file the First Amended
9 Complaint within ten (10) days from the date of this Order. The motion to amend
10 scheduling order (ECF No. 43) is REFERRED to United States Magistrate Judge David
11 II H. Bartick.
1411 DATED: fir!
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