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Duhn Oil Tool, Inc. v. Cooper Cameron Corp.

March 1, 2010

DUHN OIL TOOL, INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
COOPER CAMERON CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Gary S. Austin United States Magistrate Judge

AND RELATED CROSS-CLAIMS.

ORDER REGARDING DEFENDANT COOPER CAMERON CORPORATION'S MOTION TO COMPEL DISCOVERY BY PLAINTIFF DUHN OIL TOOL, INC. (Document No. 368)

INTRODUCTION

On November 13, 2009, Defendant Cooper Cameron Corporation ("Cameron") filed a motion to compel discovery from Plaintiff Duhn Oil Tool, Inc. (Doc. 368.) On January 22, 2010, the parties filed a joint statement regarding the discovery dispute. (Doc. 400.) Following significant meet and confer efforts by counsel for both parties on several occasions, the Court signed the parties' Agreed Discovery Order on February 17, 2010. (Doc. 406.) The Court now turns to address the remaining issues in the motion to compel, to wit: (1) Defendant's request that Plaintiff be compelled to produce a privilege log; (2) Defendant's request that this Court order Plaintiff to provide complete answers to Interrogatory Numbers 32, 34 and 37 of Defendant's Fourth Set of Interrogatories; and (3) Defendant's request that this Court order that Plaintiff not interfere with Defendant's attempts to obtain information from non-parties as referenced in Interrogatory Number 36 regarding the number of employees for any party to whom Plaintiff may have assigned, granted, conveyed or licenced any rights in the '925 patent. (See Doc. 405.)

ANALYSIS AND ORDER*fn1

The purpose of discovery is to make trial "less a game of blind man's bluff and more a fair contest with the basic issues and facts disclosed to the fullest practicable extent possible." United States v. Procter & Gamble, 356 U.S. 677, 683 (1958). Discovery will also serve to narrow and clarify the issues in dispute. Hickman v. Taylor, 329 U.S. 495, 501 (1947).

Federal Rules of Civil Procedure rule 26(b) establishes the scope of discovery and states in pertinent part:

Parties may obtain discovery regarding any matter, not privileged, that is relevant to the claim or defense of any party, including the existence, description, nature, custody, condition, and location of any books, documents, or other tangible things and the identity and location of persons having knowledge of any discoverable matter. For good cause, the court may order discovery of any matter relevant to the subject matter involved in the action. Relevant information need not be admissible at trial if the discovery appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.

"The party who resists discovery has the burden to show that discovery should not be allowed, and has the burden of clarifying, explaining, and supporting its objections." Oakes v. Halvorsen Marine Ltd., 179 F.R.D 281, 283 (C.D. Cal. 1998); Nestle Foods Corp. v. Aetna Casualty & Surety Co., 135 F.R.D. 101, 104 (D. N.J. 1990).

A. The Privilege Log

The dispute regarding a privilege log concerns the following discovery request:

REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 46

All documents and electronically stored information related to the statements made by Constantine Marantidis in his Declaration dated December 1, 2008.

RESPONSE TO REQUEST FOR PRODUCTION NO. 46

Plaintiff incorporates by reference the General Objections set forth as if fully stated herein. Plaintiff objects to this request on the grounds that it is beyond the scope of permissible discovery as defined by Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 and is overbroad, unduly burdensome and seeks information neither relevant to the subject matter of this litigation nor reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Additionally, Plaintiff objects to this request on the grounds that it encompasses documents protected by the attorney client and/or attorney work product doctrine.

Subject to and without waiving its objections Plaintiff responds that it will produce all relevant non-privileged responsive documents ...


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