United States District Court, D. Nevada
ORDER (DOCKET NO. 15)
J. KOPPE UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
before the Court is Plaintiff's motion to compel
responses to discovery requests. Docket No. 15. Defendant
Geico (“Defendant”) filed a response in
opposition and a declaration. Docket Nos. 16, 17. Plaintiff
filed a reply. Docket No. 18. Plaintiff asks the Court to
compel Defendant to produce: (1) documents in response to
Plaintiff's requests for production of documents 1-3, 7,
15, 16, 21, 23, 30, and 33-35, including the entirety of the
claims file up to September 20, 2017; and (2) substantive
responses to Plaintiff's interrogatories 1, 2, 5, 7, and
9. Docket No. 15 at 23. Plaintiff also asks the Court to
order: (1) Defendant's answers to Plaintiff's
requests for admission 6-9 as “admitted” and (2)
sanctions against Defendant in the amount of $7, 500 for
attorneys' fees and costs. Id. at 21-23. The
Court finds the matter properly resolved without oral
argument. Local Rule 78-1. For the reasons discussed below,
Plaintiff's motion to compel is DENIED
without prejudice. Docket No. 15.
instant case is an insurance bad faith case. Plaintiff
alleges bad faith conduct based on Defendant's fraud
investigation of Plaintiff's insurance claim,
Defendant's denial of Plaintiff's medical specials,
and Defendant's failure to ensure timely delivery of a
check for the arbitration award in favor of Plaintiff. Docket
Nos. 15 at 5, 18 at 3.
October 17, 2017, Plaintiff filed the instant motion to
compel Defendant's responses to various discovery
requests. Docket No. 15. Generally, Plaintiff submits that
the requested documents and responses are relevant to his bad
faith claims. Docket No. 15 at 18-21. In response, Defendant
generally submits that its Fed.R.Civ.P. 26 disclosures
adequately respond to Plaintiff's requests. Docket No. 16
at 3. Defendant also submits that its objections to
Plaintiff's requests on the grounds of attorney client
privilege and the attorney work product doctrine are proper
and sufficiently supported by its privilege log. Id.
at 4-6. In reply, Plaintiff submits that Defendant's
claim of attorney-client privilege and the attorney work
product doctrine are unwarranted because many of the
objections were provided in response to documents and time
periods before litigation began or could have been
anticipated. Docket No. 18 at 2-3. Plaintiff also submits
that certain information and documents related to
Defendant's conduct after the complaint was filed are
non-privileged and therefore discoverable, because in a bad
faith case, a defendant's duty of good faith does not
cease once litigation commences. Docket No. 18 at 4-7.
discretion is vested in the trial court to permit or deny
discovery.” Hallett v. Morgan, 296 F.3d 732,
751 (9th Cir. 2002); see also Crawford-El v.
Britton, 523 U.S. 574, 598 (1998). Parties are entitled
to discover non-privileged information that is relevant to
any party's claim or defense and is proportional to the
needs of the case, including consideration of the importance
of the issues at stake in the action, the parties'
relative access to relevant information, the parties'
resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the
issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed
discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Fed.R.Civ.P.
26(b)(1). The most recent amendments to the discovery rules
are meant to curb the culture of scorched earth litigation
tactics by emphasizing the importance of ensuring that the
discovery process “provide[s] parties with efficient
access to what is needed to prove a claim or defense, but
eliminate unnecessary or wasteful discovery.”
Roberts v. Clark Cty. School Dist., 312 F.R.D. 594,
603-04 (D. Nev. 2016).
Motion to Compel
party fails to provide requested discovery, the requesting
party may move to compel that discovery. See
Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(a). The burden is on “[t]he party
resisting discovery” to show “why a discovery
request should be denied” by specifying in
detail, as opposed to general and boilerplate
objections, why “each request is
irrelevant.” FTC v. AMG Servs., 291 F.R.D.
544, 553 (D. Nev. 2013) (internal citation omitted) (emphasis
added). This requires the party resisting discovery to show
for each request, irregardless of numerosity, how each of its
objections, by providing the relevant standard for each
objection and a meaningfully developed argument as to how the
standard has been met. See Green v. Baca, 226 F.R.D.
624, 653 (C.D. Cal. 2005) (rejecting blanket claims of
privilege as sufficient to address the applicable standard);
see also Kor Media Group, LLC v. Green, 294 F.R.D.
579, 582 n.3 (D. Nev. 2013) (courts only address arguments
that are meaningfully developed).
a party from whom discovery is sought may move for a
protective order. See Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(c). For good
cause shown, courts may issue a protective order to protect a
party or person from annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or
undue burden or expense. See id.; see also
Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(C) (courts must limit frequency or
extent of discovery that is otherwise permissible if that
discovery is unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can
be obtained from some other source that is more convenient,
less burdensome, or less expensive). When a discovery dispute
is presented through the filing of a motion to compel and
that motion is denied, courts may enter any protective order
authorized under Rule 26(c). See Fed.R.Civ.P.
parties' briefing is woefully deficient, both
structurally and substantively. Structurally, there are two
issues. First, both parties have incorrectly labeled the
requests at issue with such frequency that the Court is
unable to sufficiently match the requests as they are listed
in the discovery requests originally propounded by Plaintiff
(Docket Nos. 15-2, 15-3, and 15-4) ...