CPALead, LLC v. Adeptive Ads LLC et al

Filing 183

ORDER denying 166 Motion for District Judge to Reconsider Magistrate Order on attorneys' fees and costs. Signed by Judge James C. Mahan on 6/2/16. (Copies have been distributed pursuant to the NEF - EW)

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1 2 3 4 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 5 DISTRICT OF NEVADA 6 *** 7 CPA LEAD, LLC, 8 9 10 Case No. 2:14-CV-1449 JCM (CWH) Plaintiff(s), ORDER v. ADEPTIVE ADS LLC, et al., 11 Defendant(s). 12 13 motion to reconsider 14 15 . (ECF No. 167). Plaintiff did not file a reply, and the deadline to do so has passed. 16 I. 17 The facts of the instant case are familiar to the court and the parties and will not be 18 described at length in this order. Plaintiff runs an advertising network and internet technology 19 platform. Defendant worked as a high-level employee for plaintiff from 2010 through June 4, 20 2013. Plaintiff alleges that defendant unlawfully copied and downloaded thousands of electronic 21 files containing 22 intellectual property rights. P 23 programming techniques, client lists, and formulas, among other information. 24 Background al and trade secret information in violation of its policies and Plainti 25 (ECF No. 144). Defendant filed a response in opposition (ECF No. 152), and plaintiff filed a reply. 26 ing, Magistrate Judge 27 Hoffman awarded plaintiff fees and costs in the amount of $8,075, to be paid by defendant at the 28 conclusion of the case. Despite this victory, plaintiff filed the instant motion seeking additional James C. Mahan U.S. District Judge of over $64,000 for their first two motions to compel and leave to amend. (ECF 1 2 No. 166). 3 II. Legal Standard 4 5 Fed. R. Civ. P. 6 when, although there is evidence to support it, the 7 reviewing court on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake 8 United States v. U.S. Gypsum Co., 333 U.S. 364, 395 (1948); see also 9 Anderson v. Equifax Info. Services LLC, 2007 WL 2412249, at *1 (D. Or. ection 10 636(b)(1)(A) has been interpreted to permit de novo review of the legal findings of a magistrate 11 judge, magistrate judges are given broad discretion on discovery matters and should not be 12 13 III. Discussion 14 Plaintiff decision is clearly erroneous because to the first two motions to compel were not substantially justified, the 15 16 motion to amend was 17 the court was bound by Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5)(A). 18 Plaintiff performed in bad faith, and that boldl mandatory because 19 the requested discovery was provided after 20 166 (citing Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(a)(5)(A)). Unfortunately for plaintiff, rule 37 contains a number of 21 other considerations to which the court must adhere. Rule 37(a)(5)(A) also states 22 not order this payment if: (i) the movant filed the motion before attempting in good faith to obtain 23 the disclosure or discovery without court action; (ii) the opposing party's nondisclosure, response, 24 or objection was substantially justified; or (iii) other circumstances make an award of expenses 25 26 However, because both the first and second motions to compel were granted in part and 27 denied in part, it is rule 37(a)(5)(C), not rule 37(a)(5)(A), that applies . Rule 37(a)(5)(C) states that 28 f the motion is granted in part and denied in part, the court may issue any protective order James C. Mahan U.S. District Judge -2- 1 authorized under Rule 26(c) and may, after giving an opportunity to be heard, apportion the 2 reasonable expenses for the motion. Consequently, Magistrate Judge Hoffman was subject only to the liberal requirements of 3 4 5 Although plaintiff is now astonished that the court did not grant its request 6 for over $64,000 in fees, during the hearing it expressly agreed that the decision for sanctions was 7 at the discretion: 8 10 THE COURT: So the Rule 37 question, when you have a -- when you have a mixed bag of granting and denying parts of your discovery requests, then it leaves the decision on sanctions to the discretion of the Court. 11 MR. FOUNTAIN: Oh, certainly, Judge. 12 THE COURT: Okay. 13 MR. FOUNTAIN: And we don't dispute that. 14 THE COURT: Okay. 9 15 (ECF No. 164). 16 Plaintiff clearly understood rule 37 prior to the filing of this motion. Magistrate Judge 17 Hoffman was not required to award expenses and plaintiff now suggests. Magistrate Judge 18 s requests for for the motions to compel and motion to 19 amend because: 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 [O]n the first and the second motions to compel, we had an extensive discussion. And there were some parts that were granted, some parts that were denied, and it was -- it was kind of a mishmash of issues trying to -- trying to clarify what ought to be produced and what not -- would not be produced. So I don't see a reason to sanction defendant for the first and second motions to compel. I also don't see a basis to sanction defendant because of the need for the leave to amend the complaint. There were -- there were numerous reasons to extend the deadlines that needed to be satisfied . . . . And to -- to sanction defendant for all of that work, I think, would be unjust. 27 (ECF No. 164). 28 times that -- that your request was considered to be too broad . . . . You did substantially prevail James C. Mahan U.S. District Judge -3- 1 on the great majority of those, because I ordered them to be ordered in some fashion. But I Id.). 2 3 4 determination was clearly contrary to law. 5 Even if Magistrate Judge Hoffman was bound by rule 37(a)(5)(A), he quite clearly made a 6 s nondisclosure, response, or opposition was 1) substantially justified and 7 2) that an award of sanctions would be unjust, both of which are in accordance with Rule 8 37(a)(5)(A). 9 Plaintiff also argues that Magistrate Judge Hoffman committed a clear error of law in 10 f 11 submits that the magistrate judge only declined to award fees because he was unsure whether he 12 had the authority to award those fees, it was clear from the outset of the hearing that the magistrate 13 judge believed, and the record reflects, that there were a number of reasons that necessitated a motion for leave to amend the complaint. (ECF No. 144). 14 15 rhetoric cannot change the record presented. Magistrate Judge Hoffman was not obligated to award 16 ov 17 necessary to prevail on a motion to reconsider. 18 Having reviewed the record and the underlying briefs, the court finds that Magistrate Judge g was neither clearly erroneous nor contrary to law. 19 20 IV. Conclusion 21 Accordingly, 22 IT IS HEREBY ORDERED, ADJUDG 23 24 25 26 27 same hereby is, DENIED. DATED June 2, 2016. __________________________________________ UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE 28 James C. Mahan U.S. District Judge -4-

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