"It's like deja-vu all over again" in motion to compel depositions of Scrugges

Yogi, or so it appears, called the signal for what State Farm and Renfroe put into action as their strategy for getting Judge Walker and Judge Senter to play ball and compel the deposition of the Scruggses – it’s like deja-vu all over again from December 2007.

However, the Scruggses won that round but Renfroe obviously felt and Yogi said, you wouldn’t have won if we’d beaten you.

Judge Alexander handed Renfroe the defeat – and one might say they took the hint.

For a subpoena ad testificandum, those factors are: (1) the relevancy of the proposed testimony; (2) the need for the testimony; (3) the breadth of the subpoena; (4) availability of the testimony by other means; (5) burden on the subpoenaed party in obeying the subpoena. Collapsed down to its essence, the inquiry is one of balancing burden against benefit. (emphasis added)]

Now, do you see it? Smoke and mirrors – by reducing the document request, they created the impression of a more narrow inquiry than either intended to conduct. Had they not, it is highly likely the Scruggs would have prevailed on the basis the intended discovery was overly broad as restated in Judge Walker’s order.

Plaintiffs’ assert the Defendants’ document requests are broad and “would undoubtedly cover many documents protected by attorney/client privilege and work product protections.”

However, Judge Walker couldn’t see through the smoke to see the mirror.

…counsel for the Defendants reviewed the outstanding motions and have advised the Court as to those remaining discovery matters they consider essential to protect their clients’ interests. State Farm requests that the Court rule upon nine of its original 25 document requests from the Scruggses.

Consequently, Judge Senter’s related opinion and order suggests the smoke blew his way as well.

The letter in question did no more than narrow and make more specific the documents b eing requested, abandoning sixteen of twenty-five original document requests.

State Farm and Renfroe- exhibiting a classic Freudian defense mechanism in documents filed to compel the Scruggses to answer all questions – now claim adandoning the documents did not limit their inquiring into those matters as evident in the recent Reply filed by State Farm.

A recurring theme running throughout the Scruggses’ papers is the erroneous assertion that the scope of their depositions was somehow limited by State Farm’s document requests. See, e.g., Doc. 1262 at 3-6, 27. They could not be more wrong. It is a fundamental fact of civil practice that depositions are often taken on all manner of subjects without a single document request listed in the deposition notice. (emphasis added)

Sop keeps telling me that one of these days, Judge Senter is going to catch on and go ballistic – if it this smoke and mirrors looks like deja vu all over again from the bench, this might do it.

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