This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/27/2019 at 04:49:04 (UTC).

EVERSOFT INC ET AL VS GARY ERDLANDSON ET AL

Case Summary

On 02/20/2018 a Contract - Other Contract case was filed by EVERSOFT INC against GARY ERDLANDSON in the jurisdiction of Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****1639

  • Filing Date:

    02/20/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Contract - Other Contract

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Governor George Deukmejian Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

PATRICK T. MADDEN

 

Party Details

Plaintiff

EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM.

Defendants

DOES 1 - 100 INC.

GARY ERDLANDSON

BUTLER CHEMICALS INC.

ERDLANDSON GARY

 

Court Documents

Case Management Statement

7/3/2018: Case Management Statement

Declaration

7/16/2018: Declaration

Notice of Motion

7/16/2018: Notice of Motion

Reply

7/20/2018: Reply

Proof of Service by Mail

7/24/2018: Proof of Service by Mail

Proof of Service by Mail

7/24/2018: Proof of Service by Mail

Notice

7/25/2018: Notice

Request for Judicial Notice

7/25/2018: Request for Judicial Notice

Declaration

7/31/2018: Declaration

Notice

7/31/2018: Notice

Declaration

8/24/2018: Declaration

Order

8/24/2018: Order

Stipulation and Order

9/5/2018: Stipulation and Order

Answer

9/19/2018: Answer

Minute Order

10/23/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

12/12/2018: Minute Order

Order

12/12/2018: Order

Certificate of Mailing for

6/19/2019: Certificate of Mailing for

68 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 06/24/2019
  • Notice of Court's Trial Continuance; Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/19/2019
  • at 11:23 AM in Department S27, Mark C. Kim, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 06/19/2019
  • Certificate of Mailing for (Minute Order (Court Order) of 06/19/2019); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/19/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Court Order)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 06/07/2019
  • Motion for Summary Judgment; Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/07/2019
  • Separate Statement; Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 06/07/2019
  • Exhibit List; Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/25/2019
  • Notice (Posting Preliminary Injunction Bond); Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 01/09/2019
  • Proof of Service by Posting; Filed by BUTLER CHEMICALS INC. (Defendant)

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  • 01/03/2019
  • Discovery Referee's Report and Recommendations Concerning Five Discovery Motions Filed by the Defendant, Butler Chemicals, Inc. Against the Plaintiff, Eversoft, Inc. dba, HD Chem

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225 More Docket Entries
  • 03/05/2018
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/05/2018
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/05/2018
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 03/05/2018
  • Notice of Case Reassignment and Order for Plaintiff to Give Notice; Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/28/2018
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/23/2018
  • Rtn of Service of Summons & Compl; Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/20/2018
  • Complaint; Filed by EVERSOFT INC. DBA HD CHEM. (Plaintiff)

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  • 02/20/2018
  • Summons; Filed by Plaintiff

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  • 01/16/2018
  • Motion to Compel; Filed by Defendant

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  • 01/16/2018
  • Motion to Compel; Filed by Defendant

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: NC061639    Hearing Date: February 18, 2020    Dept: S27

FACTS: Plaintiffs allege the following. Plaintiff employed Defendant Gary Erlandson, who signed agreements with Plaintiff to keep Plaintiff’s trade secrets confidential and work to protect or promote the goodwill of Plaintiff to its customers. In December 2017, prior to Erlandson’s resignation from Plaintiff in January 2018, Erlandson informed Plaintiff’s customers that he was leaving and going to Plaintiff’s competition, Defendant Butler Chemicals, Inc. Thereafter, both Defendants continued to solicit Plaintiff’s customers with Plaintiff’s confidential information.

The first amended complaint was filed August 16, 2018, and it asserts causes of action against Defendants Butler Chemical, Inc. and Gary Erlandson for:

1. BREACH OF WRITTEN CONTRACT;

2. BREACH OF FIDUCIARY DUTIES AND OBLIGATIONS;

3. INTERFERENCE WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS;

4. INTERFERENCE WITH PROSPECTIVE ECONOMIC ADVANTAGE;

5. FRAUD AND DECEIT;

6. CONVERSION;

7. MISAPPROPRIATION OF TRADE SECRETS; AND

8. UNFAIR COMPETITION FOR VIOLATION OF BUSINESS AND PROFESSIONS CODE SECTION 17200 ET SEQ.

Defendants have filed a cross-complaint. (E-court says there is a cross-complaint filed 8/1/18, but those documents from that date do not contain a cross-complaint. There is also a “Cross-Complaint” document filed 4/3/19, but it has not been scanned yet.)

On October 23, 2018, the Court ruled on Plaintiff’s motion for preliminary injunction. Court denied motion as to Bulter but granted, in a limited way, as to Erlandson.

The original trial date was October 28, 2019. The Court continued the date to December 2, 2019. Plaintiff moved to continue the trial date to its current date (March 2, 2020), and the Court granted the motion on October 29, 2019. Plaintiff anticipates trial will take 7-10 days.

MP: (filed 1/21/20)

Good cause exists to continue trial date. Plaintiff requests trial be continued to June 29, 2020. Plaintiff has 9 pending motions to be heard by discovery referee Judge Conway on February 25, 2020. The delay in hearing these motions, and the delay in Plaintiff obtaining the information requested in them, is the fault of Defendants. Opposing counsel, Todd Haas, has had family emergencies that has prevented Defendants from timely responding to Plaintiff’s discovery requests.

Good cause exists to re-open discovery. The discovery at issue in the February 25 hearing is necessary for Plaintiff to have for trial.

OP: (filed 2/5/20)

Defendant Butler does not oppose a trial continuance but does not consent to the date requested by Plaintiff. Instead, Defendant Butler agrees to continue trial to April or May 2020.

Defendant Butler requests an earlier date because (1) Defendant’s counsel had pre-planned vacation in June 2020, (2) Plaintiff picked the current March 2020 trial date and thus should already be prepared for trial, and (3) because of the preliminary injunction in effect, Defendant Butler is entitled to trial as soon as possible.

Defendant Butler opposes request to re-open discovery. Butler contends Plaintiff failed to analyze factors under CCP § 2024.050(b).

TR:

Motion to continue trial is GRANTED IN-PART. Trial is continued to June _____, 2020.

Motion to set discovery cut-off dates based on the new trial date is GRANTED IN-PART. The Court re-opens discovery for the following discovery only: discovery proceedings related to the requests in the 9 discovery motions pending before Judge Conway that will be heard on February 25, 2020. Thus, for such discovery, the new cut-off deadlines are based on the new trial date.

Procedure

Defendant Butler filed and served the opposition papers late. The opposition was due to be electronically served by January 31, 2020. But, Butler electronically served the opposition on February 5, 2020. Nevertheless, the Court considers the opposition.

Merits

Plaintiff moves to continue trial from March 2, 2020 to June 29, 2020.

Irrespective of whether it is contested, a party seeking a continuance of the trial date must do so upon noticed motion or ex parte application. (Cal. Rules of Court, rule 3.1332(b).)

Although disfavored, the trial date may be continued for “good cause,” which includes (without limitation): (1) unavailability of trial counsel or witnesses due to “death, illness, or other excusable circumstances”; (2) the addition of a new party depriving the new party (or other parties) from conducting discovery and preparing for trial; (3) “excused inability to obtain essential testimony, documents, or other material evidence despite diligent efforts”; or (4) “[a] significant, unanticipated change in the status of the case” preventing it from being ready for trial. (Id., rule 3.1332(c).)

Other relevant considerations include: “(1) The proximity of the trial date; [¶] (2) Whether there was any previous continuance, extension of time, or delay of trial due to any party; [¶] (3) The length of the continuance requested; [¶] (4) The availability of alternative means to address the problem that gave rise to the motion or application for a continuance; [¶] (5) The prejudice that parties or witnesses will suffer as a result of the continuance; [¶] (6) If the case is entitled to a preferential trial setting, the reasons for that status and whether the need for a continuance outweighs the need to avoid delay; [¶] (7) The court's calendar and the impact of granting a continuance on other pending trials; [¶] (8) Whether trial counsel is engaged in another trial; [¶] (9) Whether all parties have stipulated to a continuance; [¶] (10) Whether the interests of justice are best served by a continuance, by the trial of the matter, or by imposing conditions on the continuance; and [¶] (11) Any other fact or circumstance relevant to the fair determination of the motion or application.” (Id., rule 3.1332(d).)

The Court finds Plaintiff shows good cause for a trial continuance because Plaintiff has 9 pending discovery motions, set to be heard on February 25, 2020, before discovery referee Judge Chris R. Conway. Plaintiff sufficiently shows an excusable inability to obtain the discovery sought in the pending motions based on opposing counsel’s family emergencies preventing counsel from responding to discovery. A continuance will allow the discovery motions to be ruled on and allow Plaintiff to review the information produced as a result of those rulings.

In opposition, Defendant Butler does not oppose a continuance but requests the continuance be shorter than Plaintiff’s request for setting the new trial date on June 29, 2020. Defendant Butler requests the trial be set for April or May 2020. Defendant Butler requests an earlier date because (1) Defendant’s counsel had pre-planned vacation in June 2020, (2) Plaintiff picked the current March 2020 trial date and thus should already be prepared for trial, and (3) because of the preliminary injunction in effect, Defendant Butler is entitled to trial as soon as possible. (See Code Civ. Proc., § §527(e) [“When the cause is at issue it shall be set for trial at the earliest possible date and shall take precedence over all other cases ….”].)

In reply, Plaintiff challenges Defendant Butler’s reasons (2) and (3) in opposition to continuing the trial date to June 29. As to (2), Plaintiff argues it is not prepared for trial because Defendants have failed to provide discovery responses to Plaintiff’s requests. As to (3), Plaintiff argues Defendant Butler would not be prejudiced by the preliminary injunction staying in place because the preliminary injunction only prevents Defendants from using Plaintiff’s trade secrets. Further, the preliminary injunction was denied as to Defendant Butler. (Minute Order, filed 10/23/18 [denying the motion for preliminary injunction as to Butler].)

Nevertheless, a trial continuance to June 29 would make Defendant Butler’s counsel, Todd Haas, unavailable for the two weeks preceding trial. (Haas Decl. ¶ 41.) Haas’s absence during that time would prejudice Defendant Butler, and Plaintiff does not dispute this.

Based on the foregoing, and under the circumstances of the case, the Court finds good cause to continue trial until a date in May 2020. While Plaintiff contend Defendants have caused the delay, there have been multiple trial date continuances already. (See e.g., Minute Order, filed 10/29/19.) Also, a trial date continued to June 29 would prejudice Defendant Butler by making its counsel unavailable for the two weeks before trial. Lastly, a date in May 2020 will provide Plaintiff at least 2 months to prepare for trial after the February 25 discovery hearing. This amount of time appears sufficient.

Accordingly, the Court orders a trial continuance to a date in May 2020. Plaintiff anticipates trial will take 7 to 10 days. (CMS, filed 11/27/18.)

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Plaintiff also moves to set the discovery cut-off dates to the new trial date.

“On motion of any party, the court may grant leave to complete discovery proceedings, or to have a motion concerning discovery heard, closer to the initial trial date, or to reopen discovery after a new trial date has been set. This motion shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.050(a).)

“In exercising its discretion to grant or deny this motion, the court shall take into consideration any matter relevant to the leave requested, including, but not limited to, the following:

(1) The necessity and the reasons for the discovery.

(2) The diligence or lack of diligence of the party seeking the discovery or the hearing of a discovery motion, and the reasons that the discovery was not completed or that the discovery motion was not heard earlier.

(3) Any likelihood that permitting the discovery or hearing the discovery motion will prevent the case from going to trial on the date set, or otherwise interfere with the trial calendar, or result in prejudice to any other party.

(4) The length of time that has elapsed between any date previously set, and the date presently set, for the trial of the action.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2024.050(b).)

The only discovery identified by Plaintiff is the requests at issue in the February 25, 2020 hearing before Judge Conway. Thus, Plaintiff does not provide reasons why the scope of discovery proceedings should be re-opened beyond the requests at issue in the February 25 hearing.

As to the other factors, Plaintiff provides sufficient reasons why discovery should be set based on a new trial date. In short, Plaintiff contends Defendants caused by the delay through dilatory and incomplete discovery responses and contends completing discovery will not prejudice Defendants.

In opposition, Defendant Butler asserts Plaintiff did not address the factors from section 2024.050(b). (Opp. 4:14.) But, this is incorrect. (See Mot. 13:20-15:24.)

Based on the foregoing, the Court is inclined to make a qualified re-opening of discovery. Discovery is re-opened for the requests at issue in the February 25 hearing. Plaintiff has not contended that discovery beyond those requests is necessary. So, the Court would extend the discovery cut-off dates to the new trial date in May 2020, with the exception that all further discovery proceedings must concern the discovery requests from the 9 motions to compel pending before Judge Conway to be heard on February 25, 2020.

Accordingly, the motion is GRANTED as discussed in this order.