UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT CENTRAL DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
May 21, 2012
INNOVATION VENTURES LLC., ET AL.
The opinion of the court was delivered by: Honorable Patrick J. Walsh
CIVIL MINUTES - GENERAL
Present: The Honorable Patrick J. Walsh
Alma Felix (Relief CRD) n/a
Deputy Clerk Court Reporter / Recorder
Attorneys Present for Plaintiff: Attorneys Present for Defendant:
Proceedings: Defendant Innovative Venture, LLC's Requests for Reconsideration/ Clarification of Order Denying Defendant's Motion to Compel Production of Engagement Letter (Docket No. 72) (In Chambers)
In response to the Court's request, Defendant has filed a reply brief addressing various discovery issues. In addition, Defendant has requested that the Court reconsider its previous finding that the engagement agreement between Plaintiff and her counsel is not relevant and, therefore, not discoverable. Defendant points out that the Ninth Circuit has held that engagement agreements are not privileged and argues: "The engagement agreement is relevant to Plaintiff's suitability to adequately represent the class and whether her claims are 'typical' of the proposed class she seeks to represent. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 23."
Defendant's argument is not persuasive. In fact, it's not really an argument at all but is, instead, a conclusion, i.e., that the agreement is relevant. There is no explanation as to why the agreement will shed light on Plaintiff's suitability to act as the class representative or that her claims are typical of class members' claims. Further, it is not supported by Rule 23, which is what Defendant cites in support of the argument. Rule 23 does not talk about engagement letters or relevancy.
For these reasons, after reconsidering its finding that the engagement letter is not relevant and, therefore, not discoverable, the Court reaffirms that ruling.
cc: All counsel
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