United States District Court, N.D. Illinois
May 24, 2004.
CHRISTOPHER IOSELLO, Plaintiff,
VICTOR LAWRENCE d/b/a LEXINGTON LAW FIRM, Defendant
The opinion of the court was delivered by: RONALD GUZMAN, District Judge
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
Defendant objects to certain rulings in Magistrate Judge Michael T.
Mason's Memorandum Opinion and Order of March 1, 2004 in which he granted
in part and denied in part Plaintiff's motion to compel responses to its
first, second, and third discovery requests and denied defendant's motion
for a protective order. For the reasons provided below, the Court rejects
As to Plaintiff's first discovery request, which seeks the number of
persons who contracted with the defendant, their identities, the
identities of defendant's employees, the amount of money he received from
customers in the last five years, and documents to support these
requests, defendant argues that this discovery seeks confidential
proprietary information which must be safeguarded from disclosure.
Defendant points out that a protective order cannot prevent disclosure of information to Plaintiff's counsel. As to this
argument, the Magistrate Judge found that the number of defendant's
clients, the identity of its employees, the amount of money it received
from customers in the last five years, and documents supporting such
information do not qualify as confidential proprietary information and,
therefore, must be disclosed. In addition, the Magistrate Judge found
that defendant failed to present sufficient evidence to support its
argument that Plaintiff's counsel is a direct competitor and, therefore,
that disclosure of the information would harm defendant. We agree. The
objection to this ruling is overruled.
The Magistrate Judge also found that the identity of defendant's
clients, as sought in interrogatory number 4, is not protected by the
attorney-client privilege as a general rule, and that the present case
does not fit within any of the established exceptions. Again, we agree
with the Magistrate Judge. The objection to this ruling is also
The defendant objects to the Plaintiff's request for financial
discovery, to wit, defendant's net worth, supporting financial
statements, and any documents to support these requests on the basis that
plaintiff has failed to establish any evidence that would justify awarding
punitive damages under Credit Repair Organization Act, 15 U.S.C. § 1679.
But it is not necessary to plaintiff prove his case for punitive damages
at this stage of the litigation. Rather it is sufficient that the
information sought is relevant to an alleged issue, or could reasonably
lead to such relevant admissible evidence. The objection is overruled.
The Magistrate Judge has also ordered plaintiff to comply fully with any
previous agreements to produce documents responsive to document requests
3, 4, and 12 as well as interrogatories 5 and 7. We agree and affirm this
order. Next, the Magistrate Judge overruled defendant's refusal to produce
copies of correspondence and form letters because they were stored only
in electronic form. This order is also affirmed.
Finally, defendant objects to plaintiff's request seeking a list of all
lawsuits defendant has filed in the last five years. Defendant's argument
appears to be that the collection of such information is just as easily
done by the plaintiff independently as itxis by the defendant for the
plaintiff. The Magistrate Judge disagreed and we find nothing in his
reasoning or conclusions that is either clearly erroneous or contrary to
the law. Defendant's objections are, therefore, overruled,
For the foregoing reasons, defendant's objections to Magistrate Judge
Mason's rulings in his Memorandum Opinion and Order of March 1, 2004 are
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