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Motion to Compel Settlement Agreements Denied Where Document Requests Only Requested License Agreements

Echostar Satellite L.L.C. (“Echostar”) moved to compel the production of settlement agreements from the plaintiff. Several issues arose on the motion, including whether the Magistrate Judge had jurisdiction to grant the motion even though the discovery cutoff date had passed, whether a party has an obligation to supplement its prior production with documents that were not created until after the discovery cutoff, and whether the settlement agreements were responsive to the prior document requests.

Turning to the first issue, the court found that it had jurisdiction because of an extension due to a mediation date. “Ordinarily, any motion concerning discovery must be filed sufficiently in advances of the discovery cutoff to allow any production to be completed prior to the cutoff date. Here, however, the parties had obtained an extension of the mediation date from the District Judge in order to allow the instant motion to be decided before the mediation. The Court concludes that, given the foregoing, it has jurisdiction to entertain the instant motion.”

On the second issue, the court concluded that the parties’ obligation to provide supplemental production continues after the discovery cutoff and applies to document created after the discovery cutoff. “After reviewing the authorities cited by the parties, the Court concludes that the obligation to provide supplemental production pursuant to Rule 26 survives the discovery cutoff. Having made that determination, the Court further concludes that there is no principled basis for treating newly created documents differently from newly discovered documents.”

The court then turned to the issue of whether the settlement agreements were responsive to the prior document requests. “After reviewing the prior document requests, the Court concludes that they were intended to address license agreements. Settlement agreements appear to have been contemplated by the requests only to the extent they included license agreements. The Court is persuaded by plaintiff’s contention that settlement agreements relating to expired patents are not sufficiently related to license agreements to be fairly within the contemplation of the discovery requests.”

Accordingly, the court denied Echostar’s motion to compel.

In re Katz Interactive Call Processing Litigation, Case No. 07-ML-1816 RGK (FFMx) (C.D. Cal. May 29, 2014)

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