Law School Case Brief
Cain v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. - No. 5:16-CV-221-D, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47160 (E.D.N.C. Mar. 22, 2018
Parties may obtain discovery regarding any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case, considering the importance of the issues at stake in the action, the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access to relevant information, the parties' resources, the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit. Information within this scope of discovery need not be admissible in evidence to be discoverable.
Plaintiff filed a personal injury action against Defendant Wal-Mart after a 50-pund bag of dog food fell on his head inside the supermarket. During the trial, plaintiff filed three motions to compel discovery. Defendant opposed all three motions.
Is defendant Wal-Mart entitled to claim privilege to plaintiff’s motions to compel discovery?
The court held that to properly claim a privilege (including, e.g., attorney-client privilege, work-product protection) with respect to an interrogatory, defendant must, in addition to expressly asserting it in its supplemental answer to the particular interrogatory, serve with its supplemental answers to the interrogatories a privilege log in conformance with Rule 26(b)(5)(A). Similarly, to properly claim a privilege with respect to a request for production, defendant must, in addition to expressly asserting it in its supplemental response to the particular production request, serve with its supplemental responses to the production requests a privilege log in conformance with Rule 26(b)(5)(A). Any claim of privilege with respect to an interrogatory or request for production shall meet the requirements for the privilege asserted. Failure to timely serve a duly signed privilege log meeting the requirements of Rule 26(b)(5)(A) shall be deemed a waiver of the privilege otherwise claimed.
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