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Oracle America, Inc. v. Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company

United States District Court, N.D. California

March 30, 2018

ORACLE AMERICA, INC., ET AL., Plaintiffs,
v.
HEWLETT PACKARD ENTERPRISE COMPANY, Defendant.

          ORDER DENYING ORACLE'S MOTION TO COMPEL HPE TO IDENTIFY HARDWARE DISPLACEMENT CUSTODIANS Re: Dkt., 497

          Elizabeth D. Laporte, United States Magistrate Judge

         On March 17, 2018, Plaintiffs Oracle America, Inc. and Oracle International Corp. (“Oracle”) moved to compel Defendant Hewlett Packard Enterprise Company (“HPE”) to identify three additional document custodians and produce additional discovery related to Oracle's hardware displacement claims. The fact discovery deadline in this case was October 2, 2017. Oracle bases its belated request on the Court's November 27, 2017 Order, which the parties proposed after a hearing on November 7, 2017. The Order directed HPE to produce some noncustodial data related to the hardware displacement claims. Dkt. 442 at 4. The Order further directed that, after HPE's production of the noncustodial data the parties should “meet and confer” and allowed the parties to each identify three customers for which it proposed to pursue custodial productions. Id.

         On December 1, 2017, HPE produced its noncustodial data to Oracle. On December 5, 2017, in response to an email from Oracle about the hardware displacement discovery, HPE sent a one page email that stated in a separate paragraph:

We are happy to discuss the balance of your email, including the specific custodians raised in that email, as part of the broader meet and confer ordered by the Court. See Dkt. 442, at p. 4. Please let us know when Oracle will be ready to commence those meet and confer efforts.

Strumwasser Decl. Ex. B at 1 (emphasis added).[1] Oracle never responded.

         Two and a half months later, on February 22, 2018, Oracle sent an email to HPE naming three hardware displacement customers for whom it wanted HPE to identify a custodian. Lovejoy Decl. Ex. A. HPE refused, arguing that Oracle had delayed for too long. Unable to reach a compromise, the parties filed the current joint discovery letter brief.

         While the Order did not explicitly set a deadline for the parties to identify customers, the order made clear that the parties should not unduly prolong discovery. It is also clear from the transcript of the November 7, 2017 hearing that the Court expected the parties to diligently pursue this additional discovery. Oracle's delay in identifying three customers was lengthy. Oracle offers no reasonable explanation for the delay. Oracle's delay is also unreasonable in light of the scheduling order in place. Most importantly, Oracle did not respond for months to HPE's offer to meet and confer about these additional custodians.

         The Court is disturbed by Oracle's attempt to justify its failure to respond to HPE's email by mischaracterizing HPE's offer as a statement “buried in the middle of an email responding to Oracle's request that HPE actually do what it falsely told Your Honor it had already done at the November 7 hearing: search its existing support custodians for hardware-displacement-related documents.” Joint Discovery Letter Brief at 4, Dkt. 497 (emphasis added as to “buried”). HPE's email was one page long, the request to meet and confer was set off from the rest of the email, and the email specifically referred to the meet and confer efforts required by the Court's Order. Exhibit 1. Moreover, Oracle itself had raised the subject of these document custodians in the email to which HPE was responding. Strumwasser Decl. Ex. B at 2-3.

         The Court DENIES Oracle's motion.

         IT IS SO ORDERED.

          Exhibit 1

         From: Samplin, Ilissa

         Sent: Tuesday, December 5, 2017 7:07 PM

         To: Brittany.Lovejoy@lw.com; Evanson, Blaine H.; Gorman, Joseph A.; Lennon, Lauren Escher; Liversidge, Samuel; Morgan, Tracy ...


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