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.

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AM., INC. v. GREAT AM. INS. CO.

August 9, 2005.

SONY COMPUTER ENTERTAINMENT AMERICA, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
GREAT AMERICAN INSURANCE CO., et al., Defendants.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: EDWARD CHEN, Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL ANSWERS TO DEPOSITION QUESTIONS BY ANDREW VU; AND GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER DEPOSITION OF JENNIFER LIU
Defendant American Home Assurance Co. ("American Home") has filed two motions to compel contesting the assertion of privilege by Plaintiff Sony Computer Entertainment America, Inc. ("SCEA") at the depositions of Jennifer Liu and Andrew Vu. Part of the motion related to Ms. Liu has been withdrawn. See Joint letter of 7/25/05, at 2. The Court hereby addresses the remaining issues raised in each motion. Each motion is GRANTED in part and DENIED in part.

I. FACTUAL & PROCEDURAL BACKGROUND

  SCEA has filed suit against various insurance companies, including American Home. In essence, SCEA contends that American Home and the other insurance companies wrongfully and in bad faith denied insurance coverage to SCEA for defense and indemnity in connection with consumer lawsuits against SCEA claiming property damage, false advertising, and other injury in connection with PlayStation and PlayStation 2. See FAC ¶ 1. The consumer lawsuits at issue are known as the Nickerson/Muccioli lawsuits and the Kim/Kaen lawsuits.

  A. Deposition of Ms. Liu

  On December 14, 2005, American Home noticed the deposition of Ms. Liu, the director of legal and business affairs at SCEA. See Davis Decl., Ex. 1; see also id., Ex. 5 (Liu Dep. at 68). SCEA produced Mr. Liu for deposition on January 11, 2005. See Mot. at 8.

  On December 15, 2004, American Home also noticed a 30(b)(6) deposition regarding the underlying Nickerson and Muccioli lawsuits, see Davis Decl., Ex. 2, and another 30(b)(6) deposition regarding the underlying Kim and Kaen lawsuits. See id., Ex. 3. SCEA elected to designate Ms. Liu for both 30(b)(6) depositions, which took place on January 12 and 14, 2005. See Mot. at 8.

  During the depositions of Ms. Liu, both in her individual and 30(b)(6) capacities, privilege objections were made by SCEA's counsel.

  B. Deposition of Mr. Vu

  On December 14, 2004, American Home noticed the deposition of Mr. Vu, a lawyer at SCEA. See Davis Decl., Ex. 1; Mot. at 3. SCEA produced Mr. Vu for deposition on January 21, 2005. See Mot. at 3.

  During Mr. Vu's deposition, privilege objections were asserted by SCEA's counsel.

  II. DISCUSSION

  At the hearing on the motions to compel, the parties agreed that the disputes involving Ms. Liu and Mr. Vu could be boiled down to three issues, namely, (1) whether SCEA's communications with and in the presence of third parties are privileged; (2) whether SCEA waived its privilege with respect to communications with outside counsel (i.e., the Crosby Heafey and Gray Cary law firms) by disclosing to third parties a document known as "Exhibit A-49"; and (3) whether Ms. Liu and Mr. Vu played business roles or legal roles, e.g., with respect to the supervision of SCEA's counsel in the consumer lawsuits and events related to the tender of SCEA's claim to American Home.

  A. SCEA's Communications with and in the Presence of Third Parties

  At the hearing on the motions, the parties clarified that the only third party at issue is Mr. O'Neil, the insurance broker for SCEA, and not Mr. Webber, the representative of another insurance company, Great American. (SCEA agreed that there is no privilege as to communications to which Mr. Webber was a party.) American Home argues that attorney-client communications involving or made in the presence of Mr. O'Neil are not privileged. SCEA, in turn, argues that such communications are confidential and privileged because Mr. O'Neil was "present indisputably to further SCEA's interest in Ms. Liu's consultations." Joint letter of 7/25/05, at 9 (citing Cal. Civ. Code § 952 (allowing for disclosure of information to third parties "present to further the interest ...


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.