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Miller UK Ltd. v. Caterpillar, Inc.

United States District Court, N.D. Illinois, Eastern Division

January 6, 2014

MILLER UK LTD. and MILLER INTERNATIONAL LTD., Plaintiffs,
v.
CATERPILLAR, INC., Defendant

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For Miller UK Ltd., a United Kingdom private limited company, Miller International Ltd., a Gibraltar private limited company, Plaintiffs: Eric Lansing White, Inbal Hasbani, Justin A Barker, Reed S. Oslan, Stephen Charles Hackney, William Edward Arnault, Iv, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Caterpillar, Inc., a Delaware coporation, Defendant: Bridget S. Merritt, Carey S Busen, Terry L Sullivan, PRO HAC VICE, Gregory L Baker, Robert G Abrams, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Washington, DC; Edward H. Williams, John Michael Touhy, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Chicago, IL; Kurt J. Keller, PRO HAC VICE, Kurt J. Keller, Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, IL.

For Caterpillar, Inc., a Delaware coporation, Counter Claimant: Bridget S. Merritt, Carey S Busen, PRO HAC VICE, Gregory L Baker, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Washington, DC; Edward H. Williams, John Michael Touhy, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Chicago, IL; Kurt J. Keller, PRO HAC VICE, Kurt J. Keller, Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, IL.

For Miller International Ltd., a Gibraltar private limited company, Miller UK Ltd., a United Kingdom private limited company, Counter Defendants: Justin A Barker, Reed S. Oslan, William Edward Arnault, Iv, Kirkland & Ellis LLP, Chicago, IL.

For Caterpillar, Inc., a Delaware coporation, Counter Claimant: Bridget S. Merritt, Carey S Busen, Terry L Sullivan, PRO HAC VICE, Gregory L Baker, Robert G Abrams, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Washington, DC; Kurt J. Keller, PRO HAC VICE, Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, IL.

For Caterpillar, Inc., a Delaware coporation, Counter Claimant: Bridget S. Merritt, Carey S Busen, Terry L Sullivan, PRO HAC VICE, Gregory L Baker, Robert G Abrams, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Washington, DC; Edward H. Williams, John Michael Touhy, Baker & Hostetler LLP, Chicago, IL; Kurt J. Keller, PRO HAC VICE, Caterpillar Inc., Peoria, IL.

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MEMORANDUM OPINION

Jeffrey Cole, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE. Judge Sara Ellis.

INTRODUCTION

Caterpillar and Miller had a decades-long, mutually beneficial business relationship, during which Miller shared confidential information and trade secrets with Caterpillar. In 2008, Caterpillar suddenly severed that relationship and began manufacturing a product that previously had utilized and allegedly depended on the confidential information supplied by Miller. Miller sued, claiming that Caterpillar misappropriated its trade secrets. Caterpillar has fiercely denied the charges, and the case has been bitterly contested at every turn. The overwhelming majority of the disputes have been over discovery, " the bane of modern litigation." Rossetto v. Pabst Brewing Co., 217 F.3d 539, 542 (7th Cir. 2000).

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Protracted discovery is expensive and is a drain on the parties' resources. Where a defendant enjoys substantial economic superiority, it can, if it chooses, embark on a scorched earth policy and overwhelm its opponent. See Liesa L. Richter, Making Horses Drink, 81 Fordham L. Rev. 1669, 1695 (2013); Matthew Jarvey, Boilerplate Discovery Objections: How They Are Used, Why They Are Wrong, And What We Can Do About Them, 61 Drake L. Rev. 913, 915-916 (2013); William Griesbach, The Joy Of Law, 92 Marq. L. Rev. 889, 907 (Summer 2009). That is what Miller insists has occurred here, ( Miller Memorandum at 2) -- a charge denied by Caterpillar. But even where a case is not conducted with an ulterior purpose, the costs ...


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