Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Davis v. Hunt Leibert Jacobson, P.C.

United States District Court, D. Connecticut

June 10, 2016

JAMES DAVIS, Plaintiff,
v.
HUNT LEIBERT JACOBSON P.C. and WELLS FARGO BANK, N.A., Defendants.

          RULING ON PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL

          Janet Bond Arterton, U.S.D.J.

         Plaintiff James Davis moves [Doc. ## 113, 114] to compel Defendants Hunt Leibert Jacobson P.C. ("Hunt Leibert") and Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo") to produce certain documents he requested during discovery. Oral argument was held on the motions on March 16, 2016. Following the oral argument, the Court issued an Order to Show Cause why Wells Fargo's documents produced for in camera review should not be produced to Plaintiff in the absence of any privilege log from Wells Fargo with respect to these documents. Wells Fargo responded [Doc. # 155] on April 18, 2016. For the following reasons, Plaintiffs Motion to Compel Hunt Leibert is denied and his Motion to Compel Wells Fargo is granted in part and denied in part.

         I. Discussion

         A. Motion to Compel Hunt Leibert

         Plaintiffs motion to compel Hunt Leibert appears to argue: (1) that Wells Fargo (as Hunt Leibert's client) cannot claim attorney-client privilege with respect to certain subjects but not others; and (2) Wells Fargo's objections to certain discovery requests directed to Bruce Fair on the grounds that Mr. Fair is not the keeper of records for Hunt Leibert are meritless. The second argument is now moot as Hunt Leibert has represented that counsel will review its production again and provide Mr. Davis with any documents responsive to his requests, its objections notwithstanding. (See Hunt Leibert Opp'n [Doc. # 135] at 4-5.) In support of his first claim (that a party cannot waive the attorney-client privilege only as to particular subject matters), Mr. Davis cites a single (out-of-Circuit) case, Hearn v. Rhay, 68 F.R.D. 574 (E.D. Wash. 1975), that does not stand for the proposition for which Mr. Davis cites it.[1] Indeed, the Court is aware of no authority to support Mr. Davis's claim.[2] As such, Plaintiffs motion to compel Hunt Leibert is denied.

         B. Motion to Compel Wells Fargo

         In his motion to compel Wells Fargo, Plaintiff appears to challenge Defendant's responses to all of his requests for production, with particular emphasis on eighteen requests. As Wells Fargo notes in its opposition [Doc. # 136] however, in so arguing, Plaintiff relies on outdated responses. In Wells Fargo's supplemental responses, dated March 26, 2015, while it maintained its objections to Plaintiffs requests, it additionally represented that it had already produced all documents responsive to Plaintiffs requests (although some of them were produced in redacted form) with respect to all of the requests but numbers 8, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 26. (See Wells Fargo Suppl. Resp., Ex. A5 to PL's Mots. Compel [Doc. # 116].) As such, the Court addresses first Defendant's objections as to request numbers 8, 14, 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, and 26, and then Defendant's redaction of certain documents on the ground of attorney-client or work-product privilege.

         1. Documents Not Produced

         Since Plaintiffs filing of his motion to compel, Wells Fargo has withdrawn its objections to request numbers 14, 16, 19, 22, and 24. Request number 26, which seeks "[a]ny and all evidence responsive to FRCP 26a not produced above, " is, as Wells Fargo argues, superfluous, as Wells Fargo has a continuing obligation to supplement its discovery responses under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(a), and Plaintiff has identified no relevant documents (not already requested) that have not been produced. That leaves the Court to resolve disputes regarding request numbers 8, 20, 21, and 23.

         Request number 8 seeks "[a]ny communication to or from any other credit reporting agency or company (or any affiliate by Defendant), its agents or employees, or on behalf of same with respect to the Loan or Foreclosure." (Feb. 2015 Requests for Prod., Ex. A5 to Pl's Mots, to Compel at 2.) Wells Fargo objected on the grounds of relevance, overbreadth, and burden. (See Wells Fargo Suppl. Resp. at 7.) Because the Court agrees that the documents requested do not appear relevant to Plaintiffs claims, Plaintiffs motion to compel is denied as to request number 8.

         Request numbers 20 and 21 seek "[a]ny and all policy manuals, memorandum, advice, direction or other writings in which the Defendant details or instructs its employees on how to document and handle loans concerning servicemen on active duty" or "loans insured by the Veterans Administration." (Feb. 2015 Requests for Prod, at 3.) Wells Fargo objected on the grounds of relevance and burden, and additionally argued that the documents "constitute trade secrets or contain confidential or proprietary information." (Wells Fargo Suppl. Resp. at 12.) Although the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure make no provision for objections on the basis of confidentiality absent a protective order (which Wells Fargo has not sought), see Turick by Turick v. Yamaha Motor Corp., USA, 121 F.R.D. 32, 35 (S.D.N.Y. 1988) ("Purported trade secrets and other confidential commercial information enjoy no automatic protection from disclosure."); see also Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1)(G) (permitting a court to grant a protective order for good cause to protect a party from having to disclose "a trade secret or other confidential research, development, or commercial information"), the Court agrees that the documents requested do not appear to be relevant to any of Plaintiffs claims. As such, Plaintiffs motion to compel is denied as to request numbers 20 and 21.

         Finally, request number 23 seeks production of the last known home and work addresses and contact information for two potential witnesses. (Feb. 2015 Requests for Prod, at 3.) Defendant objected to this request on relevance grounds (specifically, the individuals identified are Wells Fargo employees and thus any communications to them must be directed to Wells Fargo's counsel). (Wells Fargo Suppl. Resp. at 6.) Since this contact information for possible subpoena purposes is proper, Defendant's objection is overruled. Moreover, the level of employee bears on whether he or she may be contacted only though Defendant's counsel.

         2. Documents Produced in Redacted Form

         The Court now turns to the documents Wells Fargo has produced to Plaintiff in redacted form. Wells Fargo has never produced a privilege log for these documents, [3] and in its response to the Court's order to show cause, it appears to justify its apparently willful decision not to do so on the following bases: (1) Wells Fargo did not withhold any entire documents on privilege grounds, instead redacting portions of documents (see Wells Fargo Response Order Show Cause [Doc. # 155] at 2-3); (2) no privilege log was necessary because counsel orally informed Plaintiffs counsel of all of the information that would be contained in such a log (see Id. at 5-6); (3) the redacted documents provided "more useful and easily processed information than a separate privilege log would have because the redacted entries are displayed in the surrounding, non-privileged context in which they occurred" (id. at 7); and (4) "[p]roviding a separate privilege log would have been all burden with no added benefit" (id. at 8). Wells Fargo additionally argued that because it has "complied with discovery in good faith and provided all the information to Plaintiff that ordinarily would be included in a ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.