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Applied Professional Training, Inc v. Mira Costa College

December 21, 2011

APPLIED PROFESSIONAL TRAINING, INC.,
PLAINTIFF,
v.
MIRA COSTA COLLEGE, ET AL.,
DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Hon. Mitchell D. Dembin U.S. Magistrate Judge

ORDER GRANTING IN PART AND DENYING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF DISCOVERY DISPUTE [DOC. NO. 84]

Background

Plaintiff is a company engaged in the business of educational and technical training. Defendant Teleskills, LLC, d/b/a Ameri-Skills, is a competitor of Plaintiff alleged to have been created by former employees of Plaintiff. Plaintiff has alleged several causes of action against Defendants including copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets and unfair competition. (Doc. No. 1). The allegations of copyright infringement pertain to certain course and reference books and materials alleged to be protected by copyright registrations. The allegations of trade secret misappropriation pertain to contact and sales databases and lists of customers, students, businesses, organizations, instructors and key contact persons and to student rosters and lists. The unfair competition claim relates to Defendants' acquisition and use of Plaintiff's copyrighted material and proprietary information in the marketplace. (Id.).

On November 2, 2011, Plaintiff filed the instant Motion for Determination for Discovery Dispute. (Doc. No. 84). Defendants filed their Memorandum in Opposition on November 29, 2011. (Doc. No. 100). The parties did not comply with this Court's Chambers Rules requiring the parties to meet and confer and, if unable to resolve their dispute, file a joint motion with the Court. The issue of non-compliance with Chambers Rules has been previously addressed by this Court. (Doc. No. 96).

Discussion

At issue are Requests for Production and Interrogatory responses in four categories:

1. Communications with Third Parties regarding Plaintiff;

2. Creation of Training Materials;

3. TELCOTRAINING (alleged to be Defendant Ameri-Skills' Arizona operation); and,

4. Corporate Structure of Defendant Ameri-Skills.

The disputed Requests for Production and Interrogatories will be addressed below by category.

1. Communications with Third Parties

At issue are Requests for Production 52 and 53 seeking documents reflecting communications about Plaintiff with any third parties. Defendants object in the "kitchen sink" style generally disfavored by the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. See, e.g., Rule 33(b)(4). The Court, therefore, will focus only on relevance and overbreadth. Plaintiff claims that these communications are relevant to claims of unfair business practices.

The Court finds the requests are overbroad as they do not pertain to the acquisition or use of Plaintiff's copyrighted materials or proprietary ...


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