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Guardant Health, Inc. v. Personal Genome Diagnostics, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. California

December 18, 2019

GUARDANT HEALTH, INC., Plaintiff,
v.
PERSONAL GENOME DIAGNOSTICS, INC., et al., Defendants.

          ORDER APPOINTING SPECIAL MASTER

          SUSAN VAN KEULEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         As set forth in this Court's December 3, 2019 order (Dkt. 25), the Court has determined that the appointment of a Special Master is appropriate to review the Parties' instant discovery dispute. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 53(a)(1). Pursuant to Rule 53(b)(1), the hearing on December 3, 2019, and the stipulation filed by the Parties on December 12, 2019 (Dkt. 34), all Parties have notice of the Court's intent to appoint a Special Master and have had an opportunity to be heard with respect to such appointment. Accordingly, the Court ORDERS as follows:

         1. The Court appoints Mark LeHocky, Esquire (hereinafter “Special Master”) to serve as Special Master for the purpose of assisting this Court in reviewing 637 documents that Respondents Wilson Sonsini Goodrich & Rosati, P.C. and attorney Vern Norviel (collectively, “Respondents”) purport to be non-responsive to Movant Personal Genome Diagnostics, Inc.'s (“PGDx”) requests for production. After reviewing Mr. LeHocky's declaration (Dkt. 37), the Court finds that the Special Master does not have a relationship with the parties, attorneys, action, or this Court that would require disqualification under 28 U.S.C. § 455. Additionally, the Parties stipulated to the appointment of Mr. LeHocky as the Special Master.

         I. DUTIES OF THE SPECIAL MASTER

         2. Except as specifically set forth below, the Special Master will possess the full authority permitted under Rule 53(c) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to perform the duties set forth in this order.

         3. The Special Master shall review the disputed documents in-camera and determine whether any of the disputed documents are responsive to PGDx's request for documents are modified by this Court in Dkt. 14, and if responsive, if any such documents are privileged.

         4. The Special Master shall proceed with all reasonable diligence, in accordance with the protocol described in this order and Rule 53(b)(2). The Special Master shall have discretion to set additional procedures as he sees fit.

         II. PROTOCOL

         5. Pursuant to stipulation, the documents to be reviewed are 637 documents that Respondents claim are non-responsive to PGDx's requests for production.

         6. Upon the Special Master's appointment, the Parties shall provide the Special Master with copies of the Parties' submissions regarding this dispute and this Court's prior orders.

         7. Pursuant to stipulation, Respondents shall provide to the Special Master copies of at least 102 documents (143 with families) as their first production of documents. This first production is to be made on or before January 6, 2020. After the first production, Respondents shall make rolling productions of the remaining documents to the Special Master as they obtain client consent and complete any agreed-upon redactions. Respondents shall provide the documents in the form(s) specified by the Special Master (e.g., paper or electronic media).

         8. Pursuant to stipulation, each party may submit an ex parte confidential submission, consisting of no more than five pages, to the Special Master explaining the background of the dispute and providing context for the documents. This submission must be made to the Special Master on or before January 6, 2020 in the form specified by the Special Master (e.g., paper or electronic media). Each of Respondents' rolling productions may be accompanied by a confidential submission of no more than one page.

         9. Pursuant to stipulation, the Special Master shall review the documents in camera.

         10. The documents provided to the Special Master will be designated “Highly Confidential - Special Master/Court's Eyes Only” and, absent further order of the Court, will only be disclosed to the Special Master, the Court, and their employees necessary to assist in the Special Master's review. Respondents do ...


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