United States District Court, N.D. California
ORDER APPOINTING SPECIAL MASTER
VAN KEULEN, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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:
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.
DUTIES OF THE SPECIAL MASTER
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.
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.
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.
Pursuant to stipulation, the documents to be reviewed are 637
documents that Respondents claim are non-responsive to
PGDx's requests for production.
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
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).
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.
Pursuant to stipulation, the Special Master shall review the
documents in camera.
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 ...