This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/26/2020 at 08:04:03 (UTC).

WASHINGTON SQUARE MANAGEMENT LLC ET AL VS 1232 EAST WASHINGTON BLVD PROPERTY

Case Summary

On 04/25/2018 WASHINGTON SQUARE MANAGEMENT LLC filed a Property - Other Real Property lawsuit against 1232 EAST WASHINGTON BLVD PROPERTY. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are DALILA CORRAL LYONS and DAVID J. COWAN. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****3862

  • Filing Date:

    04/25/2018

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Property - Other Real Property

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

DALILA CORRAL LYONS

DAVID J. COWAN

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs and Petitioners

GOLBAHARY YOUSEF

C&W INVESTMENT LLC

CENTERWA INVESTMENTS LLC

GAGE & 62ND LLC

WASHINGTON SQUARE MANAGEMENT LLC

Defendants and Respondents

PAK SOON HAN

1232 EAST WASHINGTON BLVD PROPERTY LLC

ALL PERSONS UNKNOWN CLAIMING ANY LEGAL O

PARK CHUNG PAK AN INDIVIDUAL (DOE 1)

PARK CHUNG PAK AN INDIVIDUAL DOE 1

CHUNG HYUK PAK AN INDIVIDUAL

PAK CHUNG HYUK

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

FIDELITY NATIONAL LAW GROUP

WEINBERG JOEL G.

Attorney at Fidelity National Law Group

915 Wilshire Blvd Ste 2100

Los Angeles, CA 90017

HOSACK JOHN L

ZIMMERMAN SCOTT LOUIS

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

FREEMAN + TAITELMAN LLP

TAITELMAN MICHAEL ANDREW

TAITELMAN MICHAEL A.

MARMORSTEIN DAVID M

MARMORSTEIN DAVID

 

Court Documents

Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER JOINT STIPULATION TO CONTINUE DEADLINE IN COURTS JULY 14, 2020 ORDER ON MOTIONS TO COMPEL NON-PARTIES CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY AND CHICAGO TITLE INSURANCE C

9/10/2020: Stipulation and Order - STIPULATION AND ORDER JOINT STIPULATION TO CONTINUE DEADLINE IN COURTS JULY 14, 2020 ORDER ON MOTIONS TO COMPEL NON-PARTIES CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY AND CHICAGO TITLE INSURANCE C

Declaration - DECLARATION OF JOHN L. HOSACK ISO OF PLAINTIFF'S REPLIES RE MOTIONS TO COMPEL CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY AND CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY TO COMPLY WITH SUBPOENAS

7/7/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION OF JOHN L. HOSACK ISO OF PLAINTIFF'S REPLIES RE MOTIONS TO COMPEL CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY AND CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY TO COMPLY WITH SUBPOENAS

Supplemental Declaration - SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF JOHN L. HOSACK IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL NON-PARTY CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY TO COMPLY WITH (1) DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR

6/18/2020: Supplemental Declaration - SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION SUPPLEMENTAL DECLARATION OF JOHN L. HOSACK IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO COMPEL NON-PARTY CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY TO COMPLY WITH (1) DEPOSITION SUBPOENA FOR

Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

6/1/2020: Demurrer - without Motion to Strike

Clerks Certificate of Service By Electronic Service

5/28/2020: Clerks Certificate of Service By Electronic Service

Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF ATTORNEY'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL-CIVIL

5/15/2020: Declaration - DECLARATION DECLARATION IN SUPPORT OF ATTORNEY'S MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL-CIVIL

Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/21/2020

4/21/2020: Certificate of Mailing for - CERTIFICATE OF MAILING FOR (COURT ORDER) OF 04/21/2020

Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER

4/22/2020: Notice - NOTICE NOTICE OF ENTRY OF ORDER

Ex Parte Application - JOINT EX PARTE APPLICATION, STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER

3/5/2020: Ex Parte Application - JOINT EX PARTE APPLICATION, STIPULATION AND PROPOSED ORDER

Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

3/2/2020: Notice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information

Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL CTIC TO COMPLY WITH DEPOSITION SUBPOENA

2/18/2020: Motion to Compel - MOTION TO COMPEL CTIC TO COMPLY WITH DEPOSITION SUBPOENA

Notice of Related Case

1/28/2020: Notice of Related Case

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

11/12/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Notice - NOTICE CONSENT TO ELECTRONIC SERVICE AND NOTICE OF ELECTRONIC SERVICE ADDRESS

10/15/2019: Notice - NOTICE CONSENT TO ELECTRONIC SERVICE AND NOTICE OF ELECTRONIC SERVICE ADDRESS

Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER ADVANCING THE MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

8/7/2019: Ex Parte Application - EX PARTE APPLICATION FOR AN ORDER ADVANCING THE MOTION TO BE RELIEVED AS COUNSEL

Declaration - DECLARATION DECL. RE ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

4/10/2019: Declaration - DECLARATION DECL. RE ORDER FOR PUBLICATION

Order - Order on Stipulation to Substitute Washington Square Management, LLC into this case as plaintiff in place of and instead of Gage & 62nd LLC, C&W Investment, LLC, Centerwa Investments, LLC, and

12/13/2018: Order - Order on Stipulation to Substitute Washington Square Management, LLC into this case as plaintiff in place of and instead of Gage & 62nd LLC, C&W Investment, LLC, Centerwa Investments, LLC, and

NOTICE OF RECORDATION OF NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION (LIS PENDENS)

4/30/2018: NOTICE OF RECORDATION OF NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION (LIS PENDENS)

132 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 12/14/2020
  • Hearing12/14/2020 at 08:30 AM in Department 20 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Status Conference

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  • 10/21/2020
  • DocketNotice of Change of Address or Other Contact Information; Filed by David M Marmorstein (Attorney)

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  • 10/15/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 20, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Status Conference (Progress of the city) - Held - Continued

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  • 10/15/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Status Conference Progress of the city)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/11/2020
  • DocketNotice (OF ENTRY OF ORDER CONTINUING DEADLINE IN COURT?S JULY 14, 2020 ORDER ON MOTIONS TO COMPEL NON-PARTIES CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY AND CHICAGO TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY TO COMPLY WITH (1) DEPOSITION SUBPOENAS FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS AND (2) DEPO); Filed by Washington Square Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/10/2020
  • DocketStipulation and Order (JOINT STIPULATION TO CONTINUE DEADLINE IN COURT?S JULY 14, 2020 ORDER ON MOTIONS TO COMPEL NON-PARTIES CHICAGO TITLE COMPANY AND CHICAGO TITLE INSURANCE COMPANY TO COMPLY WITH (1) DEPOSITION SUBPOENAS FOR PRODUCTION OF BUSINESS RECORDS AND (2) DEPOSITION); Filed by Washington Square Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/17/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Washington Square Management, LLC (Plaintiff)

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  • 07/14/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 20, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition (of Non-Party Chicago Title Company to comply with 1) Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records 2) Deposition Subpoena for Personal Appearance of PMQ and Production of Documents and Things; Request for Sanctions; Filed by Plaintiff;) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 07/14/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 20, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Compel Deposition (of Non-Party Chicago Title Insurance Company to Comply with 1) Deposition Subpoena for Production of Business Records 2) Deposition Subpoena for Personal Appearance of PMQ and Production of Documents and Things; Request for Sanctions; Filed by Plaintiff;) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 07/14/2020
  • Docketat 08:30 AM in Department 20, David J. Cowan, Presiding; Status Conference (Progress of the city) - Held - Continued

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206 More Docket Entries
  • 06/08/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons

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  • 06/08/2018
  • DocketMiscellaneous-Other; Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 06/08/2018
  • DocketProof of Service (not Summons and Complaint); Filed by Plaintiff/Petitioner

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  • 06/08/2018
  • DocketProof-Service/Summons

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  • 06/08/2018
  • DocketAFFIDAVIT OF DUE DILIGENCE

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  • 04/30/2018
  • DocketNotice of Lis Pendens; Filed by C&W Investment LLC (Plaintiff); Centerwa Investments LLC (Plaintiff); Gage & 62nd, LLC (Plaintiff) et al.

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  • 04/30/2018
  • DocketNOTICE OF RECORDATION OF NOTICE OF PENDENCY OF ACTION (LIS PENDENS)

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  • 04/25/2018
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 04/25/2018
  • DocketVERIFIED COMPLAINT FOR: (1) QUIET TITLE; (2) DECLARATORY RELIEF.

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  • 04/25/2018
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by C&W Investment LLC (Plaintiff); Centerwa Investments LLC (Plaintiff); Gage & 62nd, LLC (Plaintiff) et al.

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC703862    Hearing Date: July 14, 2020    Dept: 20

Tentative Ruling

Judge David J. Cowan

Department 20


Hearing Date: Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Case Name: Washington Square Management, LLC v. 1232 East Washington Blvd Property LLC et al.

Case No.: BC703862

Motions: Compel Compliance with Deposition Subpoenas

Moving Party: Plaintiff Washington Square Management, LLC

Responding Party: Nonparties Chicago Title Co. and Chicago Title Insurance Co.

Notice: OK


Ruling: The Motion to Compel Compliance is GRANTED as to Plaintiff’s requests for the documents identified in the Reply Declaration of John L. Hosack, paragraph 3. CTC and CTIC are ordered to respond, without objection, as to each identified document by either producing the document or stating that it is not within their possession, custody, or control.

The Motion to Compel Compliance is GRANTED as to Plaintiff’s request for CTC and CTIC to designate a person most qualified to testify. CTC and CTIC are ordered to designate a person most qualified to testify on the topics identified in the relevant deposition subpoenas.

The Court imposes discovery sanctions of $6,000 on CTC and CTIC payable to Plaintiff’s counsel within 45 days of this Order, attributable to fees incurred in bringing this motion to compel designation of a person most qualified.

Plaintiff to give notice.


BACKGROUND

On December 16, 2019, Plaintiff Washington Square Management, LLC served nonparties Chicago Title Company (“CTC”) and Chicago Title Insurance Company (“CTIC”) with two deposition subpoenas each, one seeking production of documents and one seeking designation of a person most qualified to testify. The subpoenas arise out of a real property dispute over parking rights; Plaintiff seeks documents from CTC and CTIC demonstrating that the defendants had notice of Plaintiff’s parking rights. CTC and CTIC are affiliated with Fidelity National Title Insurance Company as members of the Fidelity National Title Group; FNTIC is maintaining a separate action for declaratory relief against Plaintiff.

On December 20, 2019, CTC and CTIC served objections to the deposition subpoenas, arguing the requests were overbroad, vague, ambiguous, sought documents subject to attorney-client and attorney work product privilege, sought documents in the public record, and impinged on the Paks’ constitutional right to privacy.

On February 20, 2020, Plaintiff filed two motions to compel compliance with deposition subpoenas, one against CTC and one against CTIC.

On June 30, 2020, CTC and CTIC each filed an opposition; they are substantially identical.

On July 7, 2020, Plaintiff filed a reply to each opposition.

DISCUSSION

 

The crux of the current dispute is whether CTC and CTIC have now fully complied with the deposition subpoenas. CTC and CTIC argue the motions are moot because they have now produced all responsive documents in their possession, custody, or control. In its Reply, Plaintiff argues several specific documents are still being withheld:

· A Policy of Title Insurance issued by CTC/CTIC, dated July 22, 2005;

· A Policy of Title Insurance issued by CTC/CTIC, dated August 31, 2011;

· A “Quitclaim Deed from Chung Hyuk Pak and Soon Han Pak, in favor of 1232 East Washington Blvd. Property, LLC” recorded on August 1, 2008;

· A “Preliminary Report and/or Commitment” connected with the Quitclaim Deed;

· A declaration under Civ. Code sec. 1057.6 regarding 1232 East Washington’s acknowledgement of notice;

· The Paks’ and 1232 East Washington’s instructions regarding recordation of the Quitclaim Deed;

· “CTC’s instructions to the Los Angeles County Recorder’s office to record the Quitclaim Deed”;

· And an invoice to the Paks and/or 1232 East Washington for recordation fees.

(See Hosack Reply Decl., para. 3.) As these documents were only identified in Plaintiff’s reply papers, CTC and CTIC did not address these specific documents in their opposition. The issue, therefore, is whether CTC and CTIC have possession, custody, or control of these specific documents and whether they should be produced.

CTC and CTIC previously objected to production on the grounds that the Paks’ right of privacy covered some requested documents. But CTC and CTIC have obtained the Paks’ consent to production of documents potentially covered by the right to privacy. CTC and CTIC maintain that they have now produced responsive documents previously withheld on that basis. (Opposition, 10:25-27.) The merits of the privacy objection are thus no longer relevant.

The Court finds the remaining objections without merit as to the specific documents that are allegedly withheld. There is no reason to think any of these documents are subject to attorney-client privilege or work product privilege. Nor would they be part of the public record; only the Quitclaim Deed would be public as it was recorded. The vagueness, ambiguity, and overbreadth objections fail insofar as the documents at issue have been specifically identified.

Thus, the remaining objections are overruled as to the identified documents. CTC and CTIC are ordered to respond without objection as to each identified document by either producing the document or stating that it is not within their possession, custody, or control.

Designation of Person Most Qualified

CTC and CTIC argue they could not identify a person most qualified to testify because no current employees would have knowledge of the relevant topics for the deposition. This is not a justification for refusing to designate anyone for deposition. CCP sec. 2025.230 provides that the corporate “deponent shall designate and produce at the deposition those of its officers, directors, managing agents, employees, or agents who are most qualified to testify on its behalf as to those matters to the extent of any information known or reasonably available to the deponent.” The deponent “shall,” i.e. must, designate a natural person for deposition. Moreover, the plain language of the statute indicates the deponent should designate an agent “qualified to testify on its behalf.” Thus, CTC and CTIC cannot evade designating a deponent by arguing the person most qualified to testify cannot testify on its behalf because the person is a former employee; they are obligated to designate someone to testify on their behalf.

In Ecclesiastes 9:10-11-12, Inc. v. LMC Holding Co. (10th Cir. 2007) 497 F.3d 1135, the corporate deponent argued it was not required to designate a person most qualified “because it lacked control of potential designees.” The Tenth Circuit rejected this argument, recognizing that corporations “have an ‘affirmative duty’ to make available as many persons as necessary to give ‘complete, knowledgeable, and binding answers’ on the corporation's behalf.” (Id. at 1146 (citing Reilly v. NatWest Mkt. Group Inc. (2d Cir. 1999) 181 F.3d 253, 268.)) The court noted that FRCP 30(b)(6) provides that an organization “shall designate one or more officers, directors, or managing agents, or other persons who consent to testify on its behalf.” (Id. (emphasis original)) The court found the duty to designate “is not negated by a corporation's alleged lack of control over potential . . . deponents.” (Id. at 1147.) Thus, though the deponent clearly does not need to designate a former employee, the deponent is required to designate some natural deponent. (Id. at 1147, n. 13.) If the deponent believes nobody can be designated, the Tenth Circuit indicated that the deponent should seek a protective order or move to quash the deposition rather than refusing to designate. (Id. at 1147.)

CCP sec. 2025.230, just like FRCP 30(b)(6), provides for mandatory designation by its use of “shall.” (Id. at 1146.) California law imposes the same affirmative “duty . . . to produc[e] the most knowledgeable person currently in its employ and mak[e] sure that that person has access to information and documents reasonably available within the corporation.” (Maldonado v. Superior Court (2002) 94 Cal.App.4th 1390, 1398.) An employer is “not required to produce former employees in response to the notice just because the former employees are far more knowledgeable about the litigation than anyone currently employed by the company,” but the employer must designate someone or otherwise seek protection from the notice. Here, CTC and CTIC did not seek to quash the deposition subpoena or seek a protective order; instead, they failed to designate someone as required by CCP sec. 2025.230.

For the foregoing reasons, the Motion to Compel Compliance is GRANTED. CTC and CTIC are ordered to designate a person most qualified for deposition.

Sanctions

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is DENIED insofar as Plaintiff sought to compel production of documents. The Court finds CTC and CTIC acted with substantial justification in opposing the motions to compel as moot after producing responsive documents. (CCP sec. 2031.320(b).) CTC and CTIC unsuccessfully attempted to meet and confer after producing private documents with the Paks’ consent; this failed negotiation necessitated the opposition. The ensuing briefing was productive insofar as the parties now have a clear understanding of what documents Plaintiff still considers to be at issue.

Plaintiff’s request for sanctions is GRANTED insofar as Plaintiff sought to compel CTC and CTIC to designate a person most qualified for deposition. CTC and CTIC were legally unjustified in refusing to designate any person for deposition, thereby depriving Plaintiff of the ability to conduct a properly noticed deposition. CTC and CTIC did not seek a protective order or move to quash the subpoena. Absent some legal justification for the decision not to designate, this is unjustified and thus sanctionable discovery conduct. (CCP sec. 2031.320(b).) The Court imposes discovery sanctions of $6,000 on CTC and CTIC payable to Plaintiff’s counsel within 45 days of this Order, attributable to fees incurred in bringing this motion to compel designation of a person most qualified.

CONCLUSION

 

The Motion to Compel Compliance is GRANTED as to Plaintiff’s requests for the specific documents identified in the Declaration of John L. Hosack, paragraph 3, in support of Plaintiff’s Reply. CTC and CTIC are ordered to respond without objection as to each identified document by producing the document or stating that it is not within their possession, custody, or control.

The Motion to Compel Compliance is GRANTED as to Plaintiff’s request for CTC and CTIC to designate a person most qualified to testify. CTC and CTIC are ordered to designate a person most qualified to testify on the topics identified in the relevant deposition subpoenas.

The Court imposes discovery sanctions of $6,000 on CTC and CTIC payable to Plaintiff’s counsel within 45 days of this Order, attributable to fees incurred in bringing this motion to compel designation of a person most qualified.

Plaintiff to give notice.