Nucap Indus. Inc. v. Robert Bosch LLC, et al., No. 15 C 2207, Slip Op. (N.D. Ill. Dec. 7, 2017) (Kim, Mag. J.).

Judge Kim granted without prejudice defendants’ (collectively “Bosch”) motion for a protective order barring the deposition of Bosch GmbH’s Chairman, absent re-noticing and demonstrated need for the deposition.

Plaintiff Nucap claimed that Bosch’s reasons for deciding to terminate the parties’ business relationship were central to various claims and defenses. Whether or not that was true, Bosch contended that its Chairman had no unique personal knowledge related to Nucap’s claims. Looking to the Seventh Circuit’s analysis in Patterson v. Avery Dennison Corp., 281 F.3d 676, 681 (7th Cir. 2002), the Court held as follows:

  • Bosch’s evidence that the Chairman was not involved in relevant events was persuasive. He was not an author of any relevant pre-litigation documents. No other witness has suggested he was involved.
  • Nucap could seek the information by less obtrusive means. For example, Nucap had not advanced an interrogatory or document request regarding the Chairman’s knowledge or communications.
  • The burden on the Chairman’s busy schedule was Bosch’s “weakest” argument. Many courts have ordered depositions of busy executives.