IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
September 10, 2008
DAVID F. JADWIN, D.O., PLAINTIFF,
COUNTY OF KERN, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Oliver W. Wanger United States District Judge
ORDER DENYING PLAINTIFF'S REQUEST FOR RECONSIDERATION BY DISTRICT COURT OF MAGISTRATE JUDGE'S RULING
On September 1, 2008, Plaintiff timely filed a request for reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's Order filed on August 22, 2008 (Doc. 207).
To the extent Plaintiff's request for reconsideration challenges the appointment of a special master, Plaintiff's request is DENIED as moot. By Order filed on September 5, 2008, the Magistrate Judge denied Defendants' request for the appointment of a special master (Doc. 220).
Plaintiff requests reconsideration of the Magistrate Judge's issuance of a protective order against Plaintiff's counsel as well as Defendants' counsel and the denial of sanctions against Defendants' counsel based on alleged actions or inaction by Plaintiff's counsel.
Pursuant to Rule 72-303, a District Judge upholds a Magistrate Judge's ruling on a referred matter unless it is "clearly erroneous or contrary to law." See Rule 72(a), Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A). The "clearly erroneous" standard applies to a Magistrate Judge's findings of fact. Concrete Pipe & Prods. v. Constr. Laborers Pension Trust, 508 U.S. 602, 623 (1993). "A findings is 'clearly erroneous' when although there is evidence to support it, the reviewing [body] on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed." Id. at 622. The "contrary to law" standard allows independent, plenary review of purely legal determinations by the Magistrate Judge. FDIC v. Fidelity & Deposit Co. of Md., 196 F.R.D. 375, 378 (S.D.Cal.2000); Haines v. Liggett Group, Inc., 975 F.2d 81, 91 (3rd Cir.1992). "An order is contrary to law when it fails to apply or misapplies relevant statutes, case law, or rules of procedure." DeFazio v. Wallis, 459 F.Supp.2d 159, 163 (E.D.N.Y.2006).
Plaintiff's request for reconsideration is DENIED. The record establishes that the conduct of both attorneys during depositions is at fault and that the protective order issued by the Magistrate Judge is well within her discretion and necessary to manage the process of discovery in this action. The mutual protective order is not clearly erroneous or contrary to law. Plaintiff's requests for sanctions were denied without prejudice by the Magistrate Judge because Plaintiff failed to document the requested amounts. These rulings also are not clearly erroneous or contrary to law.
IT IS SO ORDERED.
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