eDiscovery Daily Blog

Judge Shows Her Disgust via “Order on One Millionth Discovery Dispute”: eDiscovery Case Law

In Herron v. Fannie Mae, et al., 10-943 (RMC) (DC Feb. 2, 2015), DC District Judge Rosemary M. Collyer issued an order titled “Order on One Millionth Discovery Dispute” where she decided that “Contrary to its usual practice, the Court will rule immediately, in writing” on the latest discovery disputes between the plaintiff and defendant.

In this case, the plaintiff, a former vice president who returned to the defendant in 2009 as a consultant to help implement U.S. Department of Treasury mortgage foreclosure prevention programs, sued the defendant for wrongful termination, claiming she was fired after reporting what she believed were problems with how the defendant was handling those programs. In her four page order, Judge Collyer made clear her disgust with the process, as follows:

“The parties are inching towards the end of discovery, the time for which has been extended repeatedly. Most recently, this Court declared that all discovery will terminate at the end of February. The parties bring yet another discovery dispute before the Court and request a telephone conference (the Court’s preferred method of resolving discovery issues).

Much as the Court admires the advocacy of counsel, it is exhausted with these disputes. Contrary to its usual practice, the Court will rule immediately, in writing, based on Plaintiff’s letter dated January 30, 2015 (Letter) addressed to the Court and attachments and Fannie Mae’s letter dated February 2, 2015 addressed to the Court and attachments.”

With regard to the plaintiff’s request for “both documents and testimony from a Fannie Mae representative about . . . [t]he process by which bonuses were awarded…[and] [t]he criteria used by management…showing how corporate goals regarding the MHA Program (including HAMP…) were met”, Judge Collyer rejected the plaintiff’s requests stating:

“Even as narrowed by the parties, these deposition and document-request topics are highly overbroad…Her allegations of wrongful termination from a single contractor position on a single Program do not entitle her to the entirety of the confidential internal presentations and deliberations on executive bonuses by the Board of Directors for all of Fannie Mae’s executive staff for two years…These topics could have, and should have, been laser focused. They were not and will not be enforced.”

Judge Collyer also ruled on the plaintiff’s requests for 30(b)(6) witness testimony, granting the request on a limited basis in one instance and requiring the defendant to designate two previous deponents as 30(b)(6) witnesses to the extent of their prior testimony or produce a different 30(b)(6) witness.

So, what do you think? Are there WAY too many disputes regarding discovery today? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.