ODonnell v. Harris County, Texas et al
ORDER entered regarding the discovery issues addressed at the last hearing held before this court. (Signed by Chief Judge Lee H Rosenthal) Parties notified.(leddins, 4)
Case 4:16-cv-01414 Document 134 Filed in TXSD on 01/11/17 Page 1 of 2
United States District Court
Southern District of Texas
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF TEXAS
MARANDA LYNN ODONNELL, et al.,
On behalf of herself and all others
HARRIS COUNTY, TEXAS, et al.,
January 11, 2017
David J. Bradley, Clerk
CIVIL ACTION NO. H-16-1414
The court has reviewed in camera the plaintiffs’ unredacted copy of their investigator’s
report. The parties do not dispute that the investigator was guided by the plaintiffs’ counsel in his
investigation or that his report was prepared in anticipation of litigation. The court finds that the
report is privileged attorney work product. To the extent the plaintiffs rely on the report to support
their factual allegations, the relevant facts and nature of the investigation in the report must be
disclosed, either by producing the report itself or by responding to interrogatories and depositions.
See Stern v. O’Quinn, 253 F.R.D. 663, 676–80, 687 (S.D. Fla. 2008). But a partial waiver of the
work-product privilege does not entitle the defendants to the entire unredacted investigator’s record.
See id. at 677 (ordering production of investigative materials created before a certain date but not
after); United States v. Nobles, 422 U.S. 225, 239–40 (1975) (affirming only partial disclosure of
investigator’s work). The court finds that the plaintiffs have appropriately produced the relevant
factual material in their report. Their redaction of irrelevant or strategic information was also
Case 4:16-cv-01414 Document 134 Filed in TXSD on 01/11/17 Page 2 of 2
The defendants also seek production of a list of Harris County employees who provided
information to the plaintiffs, and the Harris County documents that have been provided. “Although
the identity and location of witnesses that may have knowledge of any discoverable matter is not
protected, the identity of witnesses interviewed by opposing counsel is protected.” Ferruza v. MTI
Tech., Civil No. 00-745, 2002 WL 32344347, at *3 (C.D. Cal. June 13, 2002) (internal footnote
omitted) (citing Mass. v. First Nat’l Supermarkets, Inc., 112 F.R.D. 149, 154 (D. Mass. 1986);
Laxalt v. McClatchy, 116 F.R.D. 438, 443 (D. Nev. 1987); McIntyre v. Main St. & Main Inc., 2000
WL 33117274, at *2 (N.D. Cal. Sep. 29, 2000); see also Plumbers & Pipefitters Local 572 Pension
Fund v. Cisco Sys., Inc., 2005 WL 14595555 (N.D. Cal. June 21, 2005). The parties must generally
disclose the employees and documents that may provide discoverable matter in their initial
disclosures. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(a)(1). But the defendants are not entitled to specific disclosure of
the plaintiffs’ interviewees or collection of Harris County documents.
SIGNED on January 11, 2017, at Houston, Texas.
Lee H. Rosenthal
Chief United States District Judge
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