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Watkins v. Infosys

United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle

March 27, 2015

MARILYN WATKINS, Plaintiff,
v.
INFOSYS, d/b/a INFOSYS, Ltd., Defendant.

ORDER GRANTING IN PART DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR A PROTECTIVE ORDER, GRANTING IN PART PLAINTIFF'S MOTION TO COMPEL AND FOR SANCTIONS, AND GRANTING DEFENDANT'S MOTION FOR LEAVE TO WITHDRAW

JOHN C. COUGHENOUR, District Judge.

This matter comes before the Court on Defendant's Motion for a Protective Order (Dkt. No. 29) and corresponding briefing and declarations (Dkt. Nos. 30, 38-41), Plaintiff Marilyn Watkins' Motion to Compel and for Sanctions (Dkt. No. 33) and corresponding briefing and declarations (Dkt. Nos. 34, 35, 42, 44-47), and Krissy Katzenstein's Motion for Leave to Withdraw as counsel of record for Defendant (Dkt. No. 37).

Having thoroughly considered the parties' briefing and the relevant record, the Court finds oral argument unnecessary and hereby resolves the motions, for the reasons explained herein, as follows:

1) Defendant's Motion for a Protective Order (Dkt. No. 29) is GRANTED in part;
2) Plaintiff's Motion to Compel and for Sanctions (Dkt. No. 33) is GRANTED in part;
and
3) Ms. Katzenstein's Motion for Leave to Withdraw (Dkt. No. 37) is GRANTED.

I. BACKGROUND

On February 19, 2014 the above-captioned matter was removed from King County Superior Court. Dkt. No. 1. Shortly thereafter, trial was set for May 18, 2015 with a discovery cutoff 120 days beforehand. Dkt. No. 11. Upon the stipulation of the parties, the Court extended the trial date and pretrial deadlines. Dkt. Nos. 24, 26. Trial is currently set for July 27, 2015 and discovery concludes on April 30, 2015. Id. Defendant Infosys is a foreign corporation with its principal place of business in Bangalore, Karnataka, India. Dkt. No. 1, p. 1.

The present discovery dispute stems from apparent difficulties scheduling the deposition of Defendant Infosys under Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6) as well as Plaintiff's dissatisfaction with Defendant's responses to its requests for production, interrogatories, requests for admissions, and requests to depose witnesses located in India. Dkt. Nos. 29, 36-1. The record before the Court indicates that the disputed scheduling difficulties are not the clear fault of one party, but rather the product of understandable complications from litigating with an overseas defendant, albeit it coupled by inflexibility and antagonism on the part of some counsel. As such, the Court finds the terms of Defendant's requested protective order reasonable, and-with the exception of her requests regarding written discovery-Plaintiff's motion to compel and for sanctions unnecessary.

II. DISCUSSION

A. Court Authority over Discovery

Courts have broad discretion to control discovery. See Avila v. Willits Envtl. Remediation Trust, 633 F.3d 828, 833 (9th Cir. 2011). If no claim of privilege applies, parties may obtain discovery of any information that is "relevant to any party's claim or defense[.]" Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). "Relevant information for purposes of discovery is information reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence.'" Surfvivor Media, Inc. v. Survivor Productions, 406 F.3d 625, 635 (9th Cir. 2005) (quoting Brown Bag Software v. Symantec Corp., 960 F.2d 1465, 1470 (9th Cir. 1992)). Discovery should be limited, however, where its "burden or expense... outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties' resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of ...


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