GeoMetWatch v. Hall et al
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER granting in part and denying in part 486 Motion to Strike USURF's Untimely Disclosures; granting 491 Motion to Compel to Allow Trade Secret Discovery Beyond the February 1, 2017 Fact Discovery Cutoff. Signed by Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner on 5/15/2017. (jwt)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT DISTRICT OF UTAH
GEOMETWATCH CORPORATION, a
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND
Case No. 1:14-cv-60-JNP-PMW
ALAN HALL, et al.,
District Judge Jill N. Parrish
Chief Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner
District Judge Jill N. Parrish referred this case to Chief Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner
pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A).1 Before the court are the following Short Form Discovery
Motions: (1) GeoMetWatch’s (“GMW”) Motion to Strike Utah State University Research
Foundation d/b/a/ Space Dynamics Laboratory’s (“USURF”) Tenth and Eleventh Supplemental
Initial Disclosures,2 and (2) Utah State University Advanced Weather Systems Foundation’s
(“AWSF”) and Scott Jensen’s (collectively, “AWSF Defendants”) Motion to Allow Trade Secret
Discovery Beyond the February 1, 2017 Fact Discovery Cutoff.3 The court has reviewed the
motions and memoranda submitted by all parties, and it has determined that it will rule on the
motions without a hearing. See DUCivR 7-1(f).
GMW’s Motion to Strike USURF’s Disclosures
GMW moves this court to strike USURF’s Tenth and Eleventh Supplemental Initial
Dkt. Nos. 81 and 85.
Dkt. No. 486.
Dkt. No. 491.
Disclosures on the ground that they are untimely and they disclose for the first time USURF’s
damages calculations against GMW and David Crain, 13 individuals who are likely to have
discoverable information, and over 70,000 pages of documents to support its claims and/or
defenses. GMW asserts that USURF recently argued that GMW’s supplemental damages
calculations were untimely even though GMW provided it months before the fact discovery
deadline. GMW asks the court to either completely strike USURF’s disclosures or permit GMW
to take an untimely deposition regarding USURF’s disclosures. GMW notes that USURF agreed
to allow GMW to take a short deposition but states that the parties could not agree on the scope.
In response, USURF asserts that it offered a four-hour deposition regarding USURF’s
damages disclosures and that it was in negotiations with GMW regarding the topics to be
covered when GMW filed the instant motion. USURF also argues that its efforts to define the
scope of the deposition are not at all analogous to Defendants’ collective efforts to strike or
refine GMW’s damages calculations because GMW’s disclosures were far more complex than
USURF’s disclosures and Defendants’ objections were timely while GMW first requested
USURF’s deposition six weeks after the close of fact discovery. USURF also argues that the
information contained in its disclosures is not a surprise to GMW: the documents referenced in it
were produced over a year ago and the individuals listed who may have discoverable information
are well known to GMW. Lastly, the documents produced with USURF’s disclosures are mostly
publicly available technical documents, scholarly and news articles, NOAA licenses, and press
The court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART GMW’s motion. Specifically,
the court denies the motion to strike USURF’s Tenth and Eleventh Supplemental Initial
Disclosures and grants GMW’s request for an out of time deposition. GMW may conduct a fivehour deposition limited to those individuals and documents as set forth in USURF’s Tenth and
Eleventh Supplemental Initial Disclosures. GMW is not required to disclose every document it
anticipates using the in the deposition but GMW is ordered to provide general categories of
documents and areas of inquiry for which it seeks the deposition. The deposition must be
completed on or before June 30, 2017.
II. AWSF Defendants’ Motion to Allow Trade Secret Discovery after Deadline
AWSF Defendants seek to conduct discovery regarding GMW’s Second Amended Trade
Secret Disclosure (“SATSD”) that GMW did not provide until March 22, 2017. AWSF
Defendants assert that now that GMW has finally identified which trade secrets they are alleged
to have misappropriated (all but one), they should be entitled to conduct discovery with regards
to the SATSD. AWSF Defendants request that they be allowed to use their remaining discovery
requests to do so. Specifically, AWSF has 4 interrogatories, 14 requests for production and 30
requests for admission remaining; and Mr. Jensen has 9 interrogatories, 18 requests for
production, and 30 requests for admission remaining.
In response, GMW asserts that AWSF Defendants have been on notice since the
beginning of this litigation that GMW was accusing them of misappropriating the entirety of
GMW’s business. GMW argues that the SATSD does not present any new information, and
AWSF Defendants’ prior discovery requests are sufficiently broad to allow them to investigate
GMW’s claims against them. GMW urges this court to deny AWSF Defendants’ motion for
additional discovery as they could have conducted this discovery prior to the fact discovery
cutoff and if there were deficiencies in GMW’s responses to AWSF Defendants’ propounded
discovery, the proper remedy is to bring those deficiencies to the court’s attention.
While the court understands GMW’s position, it does not agree with it. Because GMW
failed to provide the SATSD until nearly two months after the fact discovery deadline and after
being ordered repeatedly to do so, the court GRANTS AWSF Defendants’ motion to conduct
discovery regarding the SATSD. As requested, AWSF Defendants may use their remaining
discovery for this purpose. All discovery requests must be served on GMW no later than May
31, 2017, and GMW must respond to those requests on or before June 30, 2017.
In summary, the court GRANTS IN PART AND DENIES IN PART GMW’s Motion
to Strike USURF’s Tenth and Eleventh Supplemental Initial Disclosures,4 and GRANTS AWSF
Defendants’ Motion to Allow Trade Secret Discovery Beyond the February 1, 2017 Fact
IT IS SO ORDERED.
DATED this 15th day of May, 2017.
BY THE COURT:
PAUL M. WARNER
Chief United States Magistrate Judge
Dkt. No. 486.
Dkt. No. 491.
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