United States District Court, D. Nevada
WILLIAM G. COBB, Magistrate Judge.
Before the court is the order of Senior United States District Judge Larry R. Hicks remanding for reconsideration two discovery orders previously entered in this litigation by the undersigned magistrate judge. (Doc. # 257.) The discovery orders involved are Doc. # 232, which pertained to Plaintiff Downs' discovery dispute with Minnesota Life Insurance Company ("Minnesota Life"), and Doc. # 243, which arose from Plaintiff's dispute with Wells Fargo Bank, N.A. ("Wells Fargo").
The facts and procedural history of this case are outlined in Judge Hicks' Order. (Doc. # 257 at 1-2). However, this court will briefly review the two orders which have been remanded and the underlying discovery disputes which gave rise to those orders.
I. DOC. # 232: ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF-MINNESOTA LIFE DISCOVERY DISPUTE
On January 4, 2013, Plaintiff filed an emergency motion to compel further discovery against Minnesota Life. (Doc. # 103.) The court scheduled an expedited hearing on Plaintiff's motion, but required the parties to first participate in a "meet and confer" pursuant to Local Rule 26-7(b). The parties were to thereafter submit a summary of their perspectives regarding what discovery issues remained to be addressed by the court (Doc. # 111), which they did (Docs. # 120 (Minnesota Life), #121/122 (Plaintiff)).
Following the parties' conferences, this court at its January 18, 2013 hearing denied certain aspects of Plaintiff's motion to compel but granted certain others. (Doc. # 132.) The further responses required by this court from Minnesota Life focused on two discovery issues, i.e., the production of a Minnesota Life PowerPoint on claims handling and an administrative manual pertaining to the Minnesota Life-Wells Fargo life insurance plan. ( Id. )
On April 24, 2013, which was approximately ten weeks after the deadline for completion of discovery, Plaintiff filed another motion to compel against Minnesota Life. (Doc. # 188.) Because the motions for summary judgment were fully briefed and then under submission to Judge Hicks, this court stayed briefing on Plaintiff's motion to compel (Doc. # 188) until the potentially dispositive motions between these parties were addressed by Judge Hicks. Thereafter, Minnesota Life's motion for summary judgment was granted (Doc. # 207), which terminated the causes of action against Minnesota Life. Judge Hicks did, however, allow the parties to address whether and how to proceed with the previously stayed discovery motions. (Doc. # 218.) He dismissed the previously stayed motions without prejudice and instructed the parties to review the orders on the dispositive motions and file motions with respect to any remaining discovery dispute within thirty days. ( Id. )
As a result, Plaintiff filed another motion to compel, Doc. # 223, which flowed from her earlier motions to compel, Doc. # 188 and Doc. # 103. The subject of the new motion was, again, the production of the Minnesota Life PowerPoint on claims handling identified in the deposition of Eric Walton and an administrative manual identified by Kathy Schmidt that this court had previously ordered Minnesota Life to produce. (Doc. # 232 at 5.)
Minnesota Life responded to Plaintiff's motion to compel with a motion to strike (Doc. # 226) arguing that it had since been granted summary judgment by Judge Hicks and, therefore, discovery could not be pursued against a dismissed entity. Minnesota Life also asserted that it had produced "approximately two hundred pages of training materials, including PowerPoint presentations and booklets' of statutes." (Doc. # 226 at 4-5.) In addition, Minnesota Life represented that it produced an affidavit from Ms. Schmidt stating that the administrative manual does not speak to claims handling procedures, as the court directed in its January 18, 2013 order. ( Id. at 5.) Therefore, Minnesota Life contended that it had fully complied with the court's order relative to this discovery dispute.
First, this court concluded that discovery could not be obtained against a dismissed party, i.e., Minnesota Life. (Doc. # 232.) Second, the court found that Plaintiff failed to satisfy Local Rule 26(b)'s requirement that the movant engage in a sincere and personal consultation to resolve the dispute before bringing the matter to the court's attention. ( Id. at 13.) Third, the court concluded Plaintiff's motion-filed after the discovery completion deadline and after the motions for summary judgment were fully briefed-was untimely. ( Id. ) Finally, the court found that Minnesota Life had substantially complied with Plaintiff's remaining discovery requests and the court's order pertaining thereto. ( Id. at 14.) Accordingly, Minnesota Life's motion to strike was granted and Plaintiff's motion to compel was denied. ( Id.; Doc. # 233.)
Plaintiff filed an objection to this court's order, arguing that Minnesota Life's production was unsatisfactory. (Doc. # 237.) Minnesota Life filed a response. (Doc. #239). Judge Hicks remanded the matter to the undersigned to determine whether or not Minnesota Life had in fact actually complied with Plaintiff's discovery requests and the court's prior orders. (Doc. # 257.)
II. DOC. # 243: ORDER RE: PLAINTIFF-WELLS FARGO DISCOVERY DISPUTE
On January 10, 2013, prior to the expiration of the deadline for completion of discovery, Plaintiff filed an emergency motion to compel further discovery from Wells Fargo. (Doc. # 109.) As it did with the Downs-Minnesota Life dispute, this court directed the parties to "meet and confer" regarding the discovery dispute presented by Downs' motion, and to thereafter submit a list of the remaining discovery issues. (Doc. # 111.) The court scheduled an expedited hearing for January 18, 2013. ( Id. )
Wells Fargo filed its statement regarding the discovery dispute between it and Plaintiff, representing that the issues between it and Plaintiff were "largely resolved, " and that it had agreed to withdraw certain objections as to written discovery. (Doc. # 119.) Wells Fargo stated, however, that a dispute remained as to the deposition of Wells Fargo employee Amber Deisn. (Doc. # 119). Plaintiff's statement concurred. (Doc. # 121 at 3.) At the expedited hearing, Wells Fargo and Plaintiff represented to the court that the discovery issues inherent in Doc. # 109 had been resolved and requested that the ...