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Bird v. Wells Fargo Bank

United States District Court, E.D. California

June 15, 2017

KIMBERLY SUE BIRD, Plaintiff,
v.
WELLS FARGO BANK, Defendant.

          ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO COMPEL PRODUCTION OF COMPARITIVE DATA REPORTS DEADLINE FOR DEFENDANT'S PRODUCTION AND REPORT TO COURT SIX WEEKS FROM DATE OF THIS ORDER (ECF NO. 30)

         A. Background

         The Court issued a discovery order on March 31, 2017 ordering defendant Wells Fargo to “immediately design and implement a discovery plan to diligently and in good faith produce documents consistent with this order and schedule its production on a rolling basis to conclude no later than June 1, 2017.” (ECF No. 26, p. 12.) The order detailed how discovery in this case had broken down, specifically set out the scope of discovery, and ordered Welles Fargo inter alia to produce eleven sets of documents by June 1. (Id. 12-13.)

         Plaintiff has filed a motion to compel and for sanctions contending that Wells Fargo failed to comply with the Court's March 31, 2017 order. (ECF No. 30.) The parties filed a joint statement and declarations in support of/in opposition to the motion on May 27, 2017. (ECF Nos. 35-27.) The Court heard oral argument on the motion on June 1, 2017. (ECF No. 38.) The Court issued several discovery orders on the record during the hearing. (Id.) This order addresses the remaining discovery dispute taken under advisement at the June 1 hearing: information regarding the extent other Wells Fargo employees violated Wells Fargo's security policy.

         B. Remaining Discovery Dispute

         Discovery regarding other Wells Fargo employees who allegedly violated the Wells Fargo security policy was discussed extensively at the March 30, 2017 discovery conference. Ms. Habib on behalf of Defendant Wells Fargo explained Wells' Fargo scope of discovery as follows:

Moving on to the -- really the final category regarding the compromised incident or data reports and the data in the Policy Works database. So there are two -- as we explained in the last joint statement, there are two types of documents that Mr. Cravens is seeking. One is I guess a - I think we call it a compromised data report. These are reports that are not consistently filled out by Wells Fargo individuals.
Some employees fill them out on the compromised data team and, you know, if an item has been lost or there's a data breach. Other officers in the compromised data team do not use them at all. They're not retained in any centralized database. They're, you know, stored in a drawer, maybe not even retained at all because all of the information on these compromised data reports are in the Policy Works database which we have represented, and as we said in our joint report, the Policy Works database is a searchable database.
So that will have all the information of the compromised data reports. There's no reason to, you know -- for us to produce those and frankly we can't even do so. I mean they're so scattered across the country there's no database for those reports.
So getting to the Policy Works database, you know, like I said, that is searchable and as we have told plaintiff, we can search for reports that were very similar to Ms. Bird's.
We can search by categories of these reports. So Ms. Bird's report fell into three categories; information taken without authorization is category one, non-electronic is category two, and burglary/robbery is category three.

(ECF No. 29, pp. 27:1-28:4, transcript of discovery conference held March 30, 2017.) In other words, Ms. Habib represented to the Court that “all of the information on [Wells Fargo's] compromised data reports are in the Policy Works database, ” “the Policy Works database is a searchable database. So that will have all the information of the compromised data reports, ” and “[Wells Fargo] can search by categories of these reports.”

         Additionally, Wells Fargo offered to produce 52 records from the Policy Works database. (ECF No. 29, at p. 27:16-22) (“And so we have agreed to produce these reports on the Policy Works database from 2005 to the present and there are 52 reports including Ms. Bird's and we will produce those in Excel format so we can -- the reports are quite long, so that's the most easily maneuverable way to produce the reports and they have all the information on the Policy Works database, and we will agree to produce that.”).

         The dispute at the conference concerned the scope of categories and time period of such data. Wells Fargo took the position that only relevant data was from 2005 to present falling within all three of the following categories: “information taken without authorization is category one, non-electronic is category two, and burglary/robbery is category three.” (ECF No. 29, p. 28:2-4.) Mr. Cravens, in contrast, argued that these categories were unfairly narrow, and also that Wells Fargo has not described the potential categories for a meaningful meet and confer.

         Following the hearing, the Court issued a discovery order defining the scope of discovery and ordering Wells Fargo produce, among other categories of documents “All Compromised Data Reports regarding employees who failed to comply with Wells Fargo's Information Security Policy from May 6, 2012 until May 6, 2015, along with any explanation of codes or data to understand such reports.” (ECF No. 26, p. 12.) The Court explained that “Defendant may not limit the reports to those involving only non-electronic data and/or burglary robbery. Note that Defendant has claimed that Plaintiff was terminated for failing to comply with ‘Wells Fargo's Information Security ...


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