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E-⁠Discovery Case Law Library
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Case shelved under Proportionality

How to Successfully Compel Production Even When Your Opponent Won’t Cooperate

Grande v. U.S. National Association
W.D. Wash. February 20, 2020
Why This Case Is Important

This case showcases the right way to negotiate with your opposition and involve the court when requesting data, which eventually led to a positive outcome for the requesting party.

Overview

In the breach of contract case, the plaintiff wanted to compel discovery based on the defendant’s “deficient” production after the parties could not find mutually agreeable production terms even with numerous negotiations.

Here is what that process entailed during the five months of motions and conferences between the two sides:

  • JULY 2019: Plaintiffs serve discovery on the defendants
  • SEPT. 2019: Defendants responded but plaintiffs were not satisfied with the production
  • OCT. 2019: Discovery conference held and defendant amended their production but plaintiffs deemed after reviewing the production was still deficient
  • NOV. 2019: Another discovery conference and the two parties agreed on new terms but defendant only produced a portion of what was agreed upon
  • JAN. 2019: Plaintiffs file a motion to compel production which led the defendants to produce new data but not all requested data by the plaintiffs
Ruling:
  • Relevancy and Broad Discovery Standard. Due to the U.S. broad discovery standards, the information requested by the plaintiffs was relevant to the material laims at issue in this case. Therefore, the court granted plaintiffs motion to compel.
  • No Proof of Privilege or Undue Burden. The court ruled that the defendant never introduced any proof that the requested information as “confidential, proprietary, or trade secrets” and thus the court did not find that any harm would occur from producing the requested data.
  • Attorney’s Fees Granted. The defendant’s “substantial delay in responding to the discovery requests has delayed the trial” and in combination with the plaintiffs “several good faith attempts to obtain the requested discovery” led the court to grant attorney’s fees for the plaintiff.
Download Case Law PDF

Download the PDF version of Grande v. U.S. National Assocation, Inc. case law alert here.

Legal Analysis
On Grande v. U.S. National Association
Mike Hamilton, JD Director of Marketing, Exterro
BY
Mike Hamilton, JD Director of Marketing, Exterro

It’s imperative that when working to identify relevant and proportional e-discovery parameters that each side makes a “good faith” effort to find mutually agreeable terms. In most cases, the court will try not to rule on a motion to compel production unless the requesting party has exhausted alternative reasonable remedies. In this case that’s exactly what the requesting party did and the court rewarded the party by granting their motion to compel.

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