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Utha Hellmann-Blumberg v. University of the Pacific
May 10, 2013
UTHA HELLMANN-BLUMBERG, PLAINTIFF,
UNIVERSITY OF THE PACIFIC, A CALIFORNIA CORPORATION, DEFENDANT.
This matter came before the court once again on May 10, 2013, for hearing on plaintiff's motion to compel production. (Doc. No. 27.) Attorney Jose Fuentes appeared on behalf of plaintiff Utha Hellmann-Blumberg. Attorney Linda Adler appeared telephonically on behalf of defendant University of the Pacific.
After considering the arguments of the parties set forth in the joint statement of discovery disagreement filed May 2, 2013 (Doc. No. 44)*fn1 and at oral argument, plaintiff's motion to compel production is granted in part as explained below.
The court, upon reflection, concludes that the discovery sought by plaintiff may have relevance to her claim of discrimination in defendants denial of her seeking tenure and promotion and in defendant's ultimate decision to terminate her. See Gonzalez v. Police Dept., City of San Jose, 901 F.2d 758, 761 (9th Cir. 1990) ("We agree that evidence that the employer violated it's own affirmative action plan may be relevant to the question of discriminatory intent."); see also Craik v. Minnesota State University Bd., 731 F.2d 465, 472 (8th Cir. 1984) ("The defendants often did not abide by the plan. They did not set goals and timetables for promotion through the academic ranks, or for chair positions. Nor did they set timetables for appointing women to administrative positions."); Butler v. Home Depot, Inc., 984 F. Supp. 1257, 1261-62 (N.D. Cal. 1997). Moreover, it has not been established that the defendant's "Diversity Hiring Plan" which plaintiff seeks does not address the tenure review process directly at issue here.
Engaging in the balancing required under Rule 26(b) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court does find that the scope of the production sought by plaintiff is unreasonable, particularly in light of defendant's unchallenged representation that the "Diversity Hiring Plan" is not electronically maintained by the University. Accordingly, the court will limit the required production to the "Diversity Hiring Plan" in effect during the five calendar years of 2004-2008.*fn2 The court believes that a search for the University's "Diversity Hiring Plan" in effect for that limited number of years does not impose an undue burden on defendant.
Accordingly, plaintiff's motion to compel production of documents (Doc. No. 27) is granted in part. Defendant shall produce to plaintiff's counsel the requested documents identified above within twenty-eight days of the date of service of this order.*fn3
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