Do General Objections Suffice to Dispute Plaintiff ESI Requests?
“The Ninth Circuit has held that boilerplate objections or blanket refusals inserted into a response to a Rule 34 request for production of documents are insufficient to assert a privilege,” quote the Court in Progressive Casualty Insurance Company v. FDIC, et al., Case No. 2:12-cv-00665-KJD-PAL (D.Nev. March 13, 2014); citing Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Ry Co. v. U.S. District Court, 408 F.3d 1142, 1149(9th Cir. 2005).
In the Progressive case that we discussed in our last blog post, the plaintiff eDiscovery disputes continued under Defendant/Receiver FDIC’s Motion to Compel. After ruling that Plaintiff Progressive was not required to produce duplicative content based on the representations of plaintiff trial attorneys that all the information would be provided by a subsidiary, Defendant sought to compel Progressive to produce any and all relevant documents in response to its Rule 34 Request.
Progressive’s response to the Rule 34 request contained a general objection as to competency, relevancy, materiality, privilege and admissibility. They had an additional 12 general objections to additional requests, including attorney-client privilege, work product privilege, disclosure of proprietary information, as well as objections that the requests were vague, ambiguous, overly burdensome and overbroad.
The Court chastised Progressive and overruled its objections, citing the 9th Circuit Burlington case, quoted above, to say that boilerplate objections and blanket refusals are insufficient to assert a privilege.
However, it denied the FDIC’s Motion to Compel. Why? The FDIC failed to comply with the District of Nevada’s Local Rule 26-7(a): “all motions to compel discovery or for protective order shall set forth in full the text of the discovery originally sought and the responses thereto, if any.”