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Adt Security Services, Inc. v. Pinancle Security

July 11, 2012

ADT SECURITY SERVICES, INC.
v.
PINANCLE SECURITY, LLC ET AL.



Name of Assigned Judge James F. Holderman Sitting Judge if Other or Magistrate Judge than Assigned Judge

CASE TITLE

DOCKET ENTRY TEXT

For the reasons explained below, plaintiff ADT Security Services, Inc.'s "Objections to Magistrate Judge Young

B. Kim's May 11, 2012 Orders" [138] are overruled. Enter Standing Order relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information. Pursuant to that Order, the parties are to have their e-discovery liaisons meet and confer regarding outstanding discovery disputes. If, after the e-discovery liaisons confer, ADT still believes Pinnacle has not complied with its obligations, it may file a motion before Magistrate Judge Kim.

O[ For further details see text below.] Docketing to mail notices.

STATEMENT

On February 8, 2011, plaintiff ADT Security Services, Inc. ("ADT") filed its First Amended Complaint (Dkt. No. 17) alleging, among other things, that defendants Pinnacle Security, LLC, Pinnacle Security CA, LP, Kelley E. Walker, and Steven P. Zolman (collectively "Pinnacle") misappropriated ADT's customers in violation of the Master Account Purchase Agreement ("MAPA") entered into between Pinnacle and ADT. Pending before the court is ADT's objections (Dkt. No. 138) to Magistrate Judge Kim's resolution of several discovery disputes between the parties (Dkt. Nos. 129, 130). For the reasons explained below, ADT's objections are overruled.

Because Magistrate Judge Kim's orders are non-dispositive, under the law the court should affirm them unless the orders are "clearly erroneous" or "contrary to law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). The court will apply that standard to each of ADT's objections in turn.

I. Pinnacle's Duty of Preservation

ADT first objects to Magistrate Judge Kim's failure to hold that Pinnacle violated its duty to preserve relevant information by failing to issue a litigation hold in connection with this litigation, but instead implementing a blanket "no-delete" policy to preserve data on its computers and servers. (Dkt. No. 129, at 2.) Instead, Magistrate Judge Kim held that the record contained insufficient information about Pinnacle's policy to evaluate Pinnacle's compliance with its preservation obligations, and ordered Pinnacle to supply additional affidavits describing the policy. (Id.) Pinnacle has since provided three additional affidavits detailing its policy. (Dkt. No. 149, Exs. A-C.)

Magistrate Judge Kim has not ruled on Pinnacle's compliance with its preservation obligations in light of these affidavits. The court will not address those affidavits and their implications for Pinnacle's compliance with its preservation obligations de novo. Accordingly, ADT's objections to Magistrate Judge Kim's ruling ordering additional affidavits are overruled. In addition, the court will enter its Standing Order Relating To The Discovery Of Electronically Stored Information. Pursuant to that Order, the parties are to have their e-discovery liaisons meet and confer regarding the sufficiency of Pinnacle's no-delete policy in complying with its preservation obligations. If, after the e-discovery liaisons confer, ADT still believes Pinnacle has not complied with its obligations, it shall file a motion before Magistrate Judge Kim.

In light of the meeting of the e-discovery liaisons, the court also overrules ADT's objection to Magistrate Judge Kim's failure to order Pinnacle to designate another Rule 30(b)(6) witness knowledgeable about the company's ESI searches, document holds, and document retention policies. If ADT has remaining unanswered questions after the e-discovery liaisons meet, it may file another motion requesting further necessary depositions.

II. ADT's Request that Pinnacle Redo its ESI Search

ADT next objects to Magistrate Judge Kim's ruling on ADT's motion seeking to compel Pinnacle to redo its search for responsive ESI. ADT's motion contends that the ESI search Pinnacle performed in response to ADT's four sets of document requests was insufficient. Specifically, ADT contends that Pinnacle failed to search individual employee computers and backup tapes, and notes that there is a considerable disparity between the volume ...


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