QOTD Film Investment Ltd. v. Doe 1 et al

Filing 107

ORDER denying defendant's 97 Motion for Protective Order signed by Judge Robert S. Lasnik. (SWT) (cc: Brian Wilson via USPS)

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1 2 3 4 5 6 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF WASHINGTON AT SEATTLE 7 8 QOTD FILM INVESTMENT, LTD, 9 Plaintiff, Case No. C16-0371RSL 10 11 v. MARY STARR, et al., 12 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER Defendants. 13 14 This matter comes before the Court on defendant Brian Wilson’s “Motion for a 15 Protective Order Regarding Plaintiff’s First Set of Discovery.” Dkt. # 97. Having 16 reviewed the memoranda, declaration, and exhibits submitted by the parties as well as the 17 sealed Declaration of Judy Rushing (Dkt. # 96-2), the Court finds as follows: 18 Before bringing a motion for protective order, the parties must confer in good faith 19 in an effort to resolve the dispute without court action. Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1). Pursuant 20 to LCR 26(c)(1), “[a] good faith effort to confer requires a face-to-face meeting or a 21 telephone conference.” Defendant’s June 6, 2017, email is insufficient, and no “course of 22 conduct” between the parties (Dkt. # 104 at 2) can abrogate the requirements of the local 23 rules. 24 25 The meet and confer requirements are imposed for the benefit of the Court and the parties. They are intended to ensure that parties have an inexpensive and expeditious 26 ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER - 1 1 opportunity to resolve discovery disputes and that only genuine disagreements are 2 brought before the Court. A good faith effort to resolve this matter would have involved a 3 face-to-face or telephonic exchange of information regarding defendant’s medical 4 condition, how it impacts his ability to participate in this case, and the requested 5 accommodation. At present, plaintiff’s counsel has no details, much less evidence, 6 regarding Mr. Wilson’s medical condition.1 It appears that plaintiff is nevertheless willing 7 to extend the time in which to provide discovery responses, and the parties could have 8 negotiated the details of that extension and a sensible procedure for resolving the dispute, 9 including seeking a competency determination, appointing a guardian, and/or engaging in 10 settlement negotiations. None of these things happened, however. Because no meaningful 11 discussion regarding the need for a protective order took place, defendant has not satisfied 12 the meet and confer requirement of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1) or LCR 26(c)(1). 13 14 15 For all of the foregoing reasons, defendant’s motion for protective order (Dkt. # 97) is DENIED. 16 17 Dated this 24st day of July, 2017. 18 A 19 Robert S. Lasnik United States District Judge 20 21 22 23 1 24 25 26 While the filing of Ms. Rushing’s declaration under seal was appropriate in the context of counsel’s motion to withdraw, at this juncture additional disclosures are necessary. An actual meet and confer would have given the parties an opportunity to make appropriate disclosures in a non-public setting that could have forestalled this motion and/or resulted in a negotiated path forward. ORDER DENYING MOTION FOR PROTECTIVE ORDER - 2

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