Federal Trade Commission v. Directv, Inc. et al

Northern District of California, cand-4:2015-cv-01129

Discovery Order re: {{102}} Discovery Letter Brief filed by Federal Trade Commission. Signed by Judge Maria-Elena James on 2/11/2016.

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1 UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT 2 NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA 3 FEDERAL TRADE COMMISSION, 4 Case No. 15-cv-01129-HSG (MEJ) Plaintiff, 5 DISCOVERY ORDER v. 6 Re: Dkt. No. 102 DIRECTV, INC., et al., 7 Defendants. 8 9 Pending before the Court is the parties' discovery letter concerning Plaintiff Federal Trade 10 Commission's (the "FTC") request to compel Defendants DIRECTV and DIRECTV, LLC 11 ("Defendants") to respond to its Interrogatory Request 10, which seeks the following: "Identify 12 each Person for whom or on whose behalf DIRECTV has paid any fees or costs for legal Northern District of California United States District Court 13 representation in connection with this action." Jt. Ltr. at 1, Dkt. No. 102. The FTC explains that 14 Defendants have produced only 38 documents in response to its requests for production, and the 15 FTC has therefore subpoenaed that evidence from nonparties that do business with Defendants. 16 Id. However, after the FTC issued the subpoenas, Defendants' counsel, Sidley Austin LLP, took 17 over representation of the nonparties. Id. The FTC argues information regarding the breadth of 18 nonparty representation coverage by Sidley is relevant because it raises concerns about 19 Defendants' influence over the nonparties. Id. at 2. However, as the FTC admits, it does not seek 20 to compel any nonparty's production through this request. Id. If the FTC claims nonparties are 21 improperly withholding documents, it should first seek to compel disclosure from those 22 nonparties, as any influence Defendants have over the nonparties is not at issue if the FTC is able 23 to obtain the discovery to which it is entitled. Accordingly, the Court DENIES the FTC's request 24 without prejudice. 25 IT IS SO ORDERED. 26 Dated: February 11, 2016 27 ______________________________________ MARIA-ELENA JAMES 28 United States Magistrate Judge