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Sharon Murray v. Nationwide Better Health

June 27, 2011

SHARON MURRAY, PLAINTIFF,
v.
NATIONWIDE BETTER HEALTH, ET AL., DEFENDANTS.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Byron G. Cudmore, U.S. Magistrate Judge:

E-FILED Monday, 27 June, 2011 04:15:30 PM

Clerk, U.S. District Court, ILCD

OPINION

This matter comes before the Court on Plaintiff Sharon Murray's Motion To Show Cause As To Why Defendant is interfering with, and Exercising Control over Plaintiff's Witness and Providing Them Legal Advice With No Legal Agreement (d/e 85) (Motion). For the reasons set forth below, the Motion is ALLOWED in part and DENIED in part.

The Motion raises two issues: (1) the appropriate mailing address for defense counsel and (2) the propriety of defense counsel's contacts with non-parties Gaye Ann Pusch and Nancy Wells. The Court will address the mailing address issue first, and then the matter of contacting non-parties.

Murray complains about conflicting information regarding defense counsel's mailing address. Murray has attached to her Motion a notice from the Post Office indicating that an envelope was returned that Murray had sent to defense counsel Elizabeth McDuffie by certified mail at 35 E. Wacker Drive in Chicago, Illinois. The Court docket lists defense counsel's address as Gonzales Saggio & Harlan LLP, Suite 500, 35 East Wacker Drive, Chicago, IL 60601. Murray has also attached to her Motion an e-mail in which defense counsel McDuffie stated to Murray, in part, "You have used the Prudential Plaza address the entire time for this case." Defendants have submitted evidence that Murray has mailed material to attorney McDuffie at Gonzalez, Saggio and Harlan LLC, Two Prudential Plaza 180 N. Stetson Ave Suite 4525, Chicago, Illinois 60601 (Prudential Plaza Address). Declaration of Sinthia Von Ohlen (d/e 89).

To avoid further confusion, the Court directs that mailings to defense counsel shall be addressed to defense counsel Elizabeth A. McDuffie (or, if appropriate the other attorney of record Philip S. Holloway) at the address of record on the docket in the Court file. Currently that address is:

Gonzales Saggio & Harlan LLP, Suite 500 35 East Wacker Drive

Chicago, IL 60601 Should defense counsel prefer the Prudential Plaza Address (or some other address), counsel must notify Murray and the Clerk of the Court in writing of a change of address.

Murray next complains that defense counsel improperly interfered with Pusch and Wells and improperly gave Pusch and Wells legal advice. Murray served deposition subpoenas on Pusch and Wells. Wells' deposition was set for June 6, 2011, and Pusch's deposition was set for June 9, 2001. Subpoenas to Wells and Pusch (d/e 61 and 63). Defendants filed a motion to quash the subpoenas, which the Court allowed in part and denied in part. Opinion entered June 9, 2011 (d/e 94). While the motion to quash was pending, defense counsel McDuffie sent the following e-mail to Murray,

Ms. Murray:

As you are aware, Defendants have filed a motion to quash the subpoenas issued to Ms. Pusch and Ms. Wells. Thus, they will not be appearing next week for depositions. If you have any questions, please contact me.

Liz McDuffie.

Motion, attached E-mail sent June 2, 2011, at 3:46 pm. Wells and Pusch did not appear for the depositions on June 6th and 9th. Murray complains that McDuffie improperly interfered with Pusch and Wells and improperly ...


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