Faruki v. Eagle Seven, No. 06 C 7125, Min. Order (N.D. Ill. Aug. 10, 2007) (Mason, J.).
Magistrate Judge Mason denied plaintiffs’ motion for a protective order to prevent a third party deposition. Plaintiffs argued that the third party’s only knowledge relevant to the case was outside the relevant time frame. But the Court did not reach the merits of the motion because plaintiffs filed their motion two business days prior to the deposition. The motion was filed so close to the date of the deposition that the motion was noticed for the day after the deposition was set to be taken. Plaintiffs were aware of the subpoena and the deposition date for at least two weeks prior to filing their motion and the parties appeared before the Court during that time, but plaintiffs failed to raise the issue. The Court, therefore, denied the motion as untimely.
Practice tip: Deposition scheduling issues are often negotiated until very near the planned date, but if you think you might bring the issues before the Court make sure to warn the Court if you are appear while you are aware of the issue and, if at all possible, file your motion with sufficient time to notice your motion before the deposition is scheduled.
* The minute order is available here.

Continue Reading Untimely Protectiver Order Motion is Denied

Trading Techs. Int’l., Inc. v. eSpeed, Inc., No 04 C 5312, 2007 WL 1628352 (N.D. Ill. Mar. 1, 2007) (Moran, Sen. J.).
Judge Moran denied plaintiff Trading Technologies’ (“TT”) motion for a protective order to prevent the deposition of Robert Klinger, related to defendant eSpeed’s inequitable conduct defense (more on this case in the Blog’s archives). The Court held that discovery is a “balancing act.” eSpeed’s assertion that Klinger was involved in drafting a response to a USPTO Office Action at the center of its inequitable conduct claim outweighed TT’s best argument — that the deposition was duplicative because defendants had deposed or have scheduled the depositions of two lead outside patent prosecutors, TT’s in-house patent prosecutor and the relevant patent examiner. The Court also noted that the case is approaching the discovery close, so we may start seeing fewer discovery motions in the case and more substantive motions.

Continue Reading Duplicative Deposition May Go Forward

Autotech Techs. Ltd. Partnership v. Automationdirect.com, Inc. 237 F.RD. 405 (N.D. Ill. 2006). (Cole, Mag. J.).

In this impressively detailed opinion, Magistrate Judge Cole grants defendant’s motion for a protective order limiting plaintiff’s in-house counsel’s access to sensitive customer information and communications.  The parties faced a common problem, they had agreed that customer information, including customer identities and communications, would be limited to attorneys’ eyes only, but could not agree as to whether plaintiff’s in-house counsel could access the information.  Plaintiff argued that its in-house counsel played a lead role in the case and, therefore, required access to the information.  Defendant argued that in-house counsel were corporate decision makers, in addition to counselors, and would not be able to separate the knowledge of defendant’s customers they would be exposed to when performing business-related functions.


Continue Reading Is There a Fox in the Henhouse: Inhouse Counsel and Protective Orders