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Manpower Inc v. Slingshot Connections LLC; Janis Sonneman; and Thereza

IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA


May 22, 2012

MANPOWER INC., PLAINTIFF,
v.
SLINGSHOT CONNECTIONS LLC; JANIS SONNEMAN; AND THEREZA CHATTMON, DEFENDANTS.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: Kendall J. Newman United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Presently before the court*fn1 is plaintiff's ex parte application seeking leave of court to conduct expedited discovery on defendants pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(d)(1).*fn2 The parties have not yet conducted a conference pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(f), and no scheduling conference is presently scheduled in this case because the parties' filing of a joint status report within 60 days of service of the complaint on any party will trigger either the issuance of a scheduling order or the setting of a scheduling conference. (See Order Requiring Joint Status Report ¶¶ 4-5, Dkt. No. 5.)

This matter was heard by the undersigned at a specially set hearing on May 21, 2012. Attorney Joel H. Spitz appeared on behalf of plaintiff. Attorney Stephen D. Pahl appeared on behalf of defendants. The undersigned has fully considered the parties' briefs and oral arguments and, for the reasons stated on the record at the lengthy hearing, concludes that "good cause" supports permitting plaintiff to conduct limited, expedited discovery pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(d)(1).*fn3 As stated at the hearing, IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that:

1. Plaintiff's ex parte application seeking leave of court to conduct expedited discovery (Dkt. No. 6) is granted in part and denied in part, as stated below.

2. On or before June 1, 2012, defendant Janis Sonneman shall execute, serve on plaintiff, and file with the court a declaration signed under penalty of perjury that addresses her alleged connection of two external thumb drivesto her Manpower Inc.-issued laptop computer, a "Lenovo WorkCentre 6072 laptop computer, serial number LKNNCRA," on December 14, 2011.*fn4 Sonneman's declaration shall address the following: (a) whether Sonneman actually connected one or both of the external thumb drives to the subject laptop computer on December 14, 2011; (b) whether Sonneman transferred any files from the subject laptop computer to one or both of the external thumb drives; and if so, (c) whether Sonneman possesses any files that are the property of Manpower Inc. as a result of a transfer from the subject laptop computer to one or both of the external thumb drives on December 14, 2011. If Sonneman possesses any files that are the property of Manpower Inc. as a result of a transfer from the subject laptop computer to one or both of the external thumb drives on December 14, 2011, she shall deliver such files to plaintiff on or before June 1, 2012.

3. Plaintiff may take the limited, expedited deposition of defendant Thereza Chattmon in furtherance of its motion for a preliminary injunction. Such deposition shall be limited to seven hours in duration, including reasonable breaks, and shall be limited to topics along the lines of the following:

* What material that is the property of Manpower Inc. (e.g., computer files or electronically stored documents) did Chattmon copy, take, or transfer from Manpower Inc.?

* From which computer or other electronic device did Chattmon copy, take, or transfer such material (e.g., Chattmon's Manpower Inc.-issued laptop, a "Lenovo ThinkPad T410 laptop computer, serial number R8-5K4V1")?*fn5

* What means or device did Chattmon use to copy, take, or transfer the material (e.g., external hard drive, e-mail, etc.)?*fn6

* What did Chattmon do with the material that she copied, took, or transferred?

* To whom, if anyone, did Chattmon distribute such material, and by what means was that transmission completed?

* To the extent it is known to Chattmon, what did the recipient do with the material transferred, if any, by Chattmon?

* Currently, where is the material copied, taken, or transferred by Chattmon?

4. The parties shall meet and confer regarding the scheduling of Chattmon's deposition. If the parties cannot agree on a date for the deposition after reasonable attempts to meet and confer in good faith, they may contact the undersigned's Courtroom Deputy, Matt Caspar, at (916) 930-4187, to schedule an informal, off-the-record, telephone conference to resolve the scheduling of the deposition. Because such a phone conference would not be recorded, all parties must agree to the use of such informal process.

5. If a reasonable dispute arises during Chattmon's deposition and remains unresolved after the parties' efforts to meet and confer in good faith to resolve the dispute without court intervention, the parties may jointly contact the undersigned by telephone in an effort to promptly resolve the dispute. The parties shall contact Mr. Caspar to coordinate a call with the undersigned aimed at resolving such disputes via an unrecorded telephone conference.

6. On or before June 1, 2012, Chattmon shall provide plaintiff with access to all computers, electronic storage devices, and email accounts used by her during her employment with Manpower Inc. and/or during her employment with SlingShot Connections LLC, including Chattmon's personal email account. Such access includes access for the purpose of imaging, i.e., making a copy of, such emails or data contained in the subject computers or electronic storage devices.*fn7 However, such access and production shall be subject to a stipulated protective order presently being drafted by the parties, which will include provisions regarding the designation of certain materials as "attorneys' eyes only" to protect, among other items or persons to be discussed by the parties, Chattmon's personal information (e.g., personal financial information, love letters, pictures of children, etc.), or personal communications from current Manpower Inc. Employees unrelated to the claims giving rise to the pending motion for a preliminary injunction.

7. On or before June 1, 2012, defendant Thereza Chattmon shall provide plaintiff with the password or passwords to the BlackBerry device(s) issued to her by Manpower Inc. At the hearing, Chattmon's counsel represented that Chattmon does not recall the subject password or passwords. If at anytime during the course of this litigation Chattmon recalls the subject password or passwords, she shall promptly provide plaintiff with the same.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


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