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Nuvasive, Inc. v. Alphatec Holdings, Inc.

United States District Court for the Southern District of California

October 7, 2019, Decided; October 7, 2019, Filed

Case No.: 18-cv-0347-CAB-MDD

Opinion

ORDER ON JOINT MOTION FOR DETERMINATION OF DISCOVERY DISPUTE REGARDING ELECTRONICALLY STORED INFORMATION

[ECF NO. 197]

Before the Court is the Joint Motion of the parties for determination of a discovery dispute filed on September 30, 2019. (ECF No. 197). This is a patent case and the joint motion presents Plaintiff's motion to compel Defendants to use certain search terms to examine the electronic files of certain alleged custodians.

LEGAL STANDARD

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure authorize parties to obtain discovery of "any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case...." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1). "Information within the scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable." Id. District courts have broad discretion to limit discovery where the discovery sought is "unreasonably cumulative or duplicative, or can be obtained from some other source that is more convenient, less burdensome, or less expensive." Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(C).

A party may request the production of any document within the scope of Rule 26(b). Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(a). [*3]  "For each item or category, the response must either state that inspection and related activities will be permitted as requested or state an objection to the request, including the reasons." Rule 34(b)(2)(B). If the responding party chooses to produce responsive information, rather than allow for inspection, the production must be completed no later than the time specified in the request or another reasonable time specified in the response. Id. An objection must state whether any responsive materials are being withheld on the basis of that objection. Rule 34(b)(2)(C). An objection to part of a request must specify the part and permit inspection or production of the rest. Id. The responding party is responsible for all items in "the responding party's possession, custody, or control." Rule 34(a)(1). Actual possession, custody or control is not required. Rather, "[a] party may be ordered to produce a document in the possession of a non-party entity if that party has a legal right to obtain the document or has control over the entity who is in possession of the document." Soto v. City of Concord, 162 F.R.D. 603, 620 (N.D. Cal. 1995).

DISCUSSION

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2019 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 174018 *; 2019 WL 4934477

NUVASIVE, INC., Plaintiff, v. ALPHATEC HOLDINGS, INC., and ALPHATEC SPINE, INC., Defendants.

Prior History: Nuvasive, Inc. v. Alphatec Holdings, Inc., 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 95310 (S.D. Cal., May 14, 2018)

CORE TERMS

discovery, electronic, search term, parties, stored, Principles