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This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 06/04/2019 at 07:11:31 (UTC).

JACOB BLALOCK ET AL VS HALT GOLD GROUP LLC ET AL

Case Summary

On 08/01/2017 JACOB BLALOCK filed a Labor - Wrongful Termination lawsuit against HALT GOLD GROUP LLC. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judges overseeing this case are HOWARD L. HALM, JAMES C. CHALFANT and ROBERT B. BROADBELT. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****0702

  • Filing Date:

    08/01/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Labor - Wrongful Termination

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judges

HOWARD L. HALM

JAMES C. CHALFANT

ROBERT B. BROADBELT

 

Party Details

Plaintiffs, Petitioners and Cross Defendants

BLALOCK JACOB

NOVAK BENJAMIN

ORION PRECIOUS METALS INC.

Defendants and Respondents

PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC

CHARTOFF CHARLEY

CELANO MIKE

HANNEY JOHN JACK

DOES 1 TO 100

ORBISON ALEXANDER

HALT GOLD GROUP LLC

HALT GOLD GROUP LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC

Defendant and Cross Plaintiff

HALT GOLD GROUP LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorneys

FERNALD BRANDON ESQ.

ZAFFOS ADAM P

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

BEUGELMANS LLP

NEMECEK DAVID P. JR.

KENNEDY TRACEY A. ESQ.

HARRIS ADRIA K.

KENNEDY TRACEY ADANO ESQ.

Other Attorneys

NEMECEK DAVID P JR. ESQ.

 

Court Documents

Minute Order

3/7/2018: Minute Order

Minute Order

3/22/2018: Minute Order

DEFENDANT ALEXANDER ORBISON'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' UNVERIFIED FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

5/21/2018: DEFENDANT ALEXANDER ORBISON'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' UNVERIFIED FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' UNVERIFIED FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

5/21/2018: DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC'S ANSWER TO PLAINTIFFS' UNVERIFIED FIRST AMENDED COMPLAINT

AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE BY FEDERAL EXPRESS RE: 1) DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP, LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE CONTEMPT OF THE COURT'S 4/26

8/17/2018: AMENDED PROOF OF SERVICE BY FEDERAL EXPRESS RE: 1) DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP, LLC'S OPPOSITION TO PLAINTIFFS' MOTION FOR ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE CONTEMPT OF THE COURT'S 4/26

Proof of Service

8/22/2018: Proof of Service

Unknown

11/6/2018: Unknown

Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

1/15/2019: Proof of Service (not Summons and Complaint)

Minute Order

2/13/2019: Minute Order

REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER OF PLAINTIFFS AND CROSS-DEFENDANTS JACOB BLALOCK AND BENJAMIN NOVAK AND CROSS-DEFENDANT ORION PRECIOUS METALS, INC. TO CROSS-COMPLAINT OF HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC

1/23/2018: REPLY IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER OF PLAINTIFFS AND CROSS-DEFENDANTS JACOB BLALOCK AND BENJAMIN NOVAK AND CROSS-DEFENDANT ORION PRECIOUS METALS, INC. TO CROSS-COMPLAINT OF HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC

Unknown

1/26/2018: Unknown

Unknown

1/26/2018: Unknown

DECLARATION OF ADAM P. ZAFFOS IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER OF PLAINTIFFS AND CROSS- DEFENDANTS JACOB BLALOCK AND BENJAMIN NOVAK AND CROSSDEFENDANT ORION PRECIOUS METALS, INC. TO CROSSCOMPLAINT OF HALT GOLD

1/5/2018: DECLARATION OF ADAM P. ZAFFOS IN SUPPORT OF DEMURRER OF PLAINTIFFS AND CROSS- DEFENDANTS JACOB BLALOCK AND BENJAMIN NOVAK AND CROSSDEFENDANT ORION PRECIOUS METALS, INC. TO CROSSCOMPLAINT OF HALT GOLD

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

11/13/2017: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

DECLARATION OF JACK HANNEY IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION BY DEFENDANT AND CROSS-COMPLAINANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE

10/20/2017: DECLARATION OF JACK HANNEY IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION BY DEFENDANT AND CROSS-COMPLAINANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE

DECLARATION OF CARLENE HOEKSEMA IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION BY DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJ

10/20/2017: DECLARATION OF CARLENE HOEKSEMA IN SUPPORT OF EX PARTE APPLICATION BY DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC FOR TEMPORARY RESTRAINING ORDER, ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE: PRELIMINARY INJ

SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

10/11/2017: SUBSTITUTION OF ATTORNEY

NOTICE OF JOINDER AND JOINDER BY DEFENDANTS MIKE CELANO, CHARLEY CHARTOFF, JOHN "JACK" HANNEY AND ALEXANDER ORBISON TO MOTION BY DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC FOR ORDER COM

9/11/2017: NOTICE OF JOINDER AND JOINDER BY DEFENDANTS MIKE CELANO, CHARLEY CHARTOFF, JOHN "JACK" HANNEY AND ALEXANDER ORBISON TO MOTION BY DEFENDANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC FOR ORDER COM

153 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 05/28/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Hearing on Demurrer - without Motion to Strike - Not Held - Rescheduled by Party

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  • 04/10/2019
  • at 09:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Trial - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 03/29/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Final Status Conference - Not Held - Continued - Stipulation

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  • 02/13/2019
  • at 4:09 PM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Court Order

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  • 02/13/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Court Order re Consolidation;)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 02/13/2019
  • Notice (Of Entry of Order For Consolidation of Cases and Continuance of Trial Date and Pre-Trial Deadlines); Filed by Mike Celano (Defendant); CHARLEY CHARTOFF (Defendant); HALT GOLD GROUP LLC (Defendant) et al.

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  • 01/29/2019
  • at 08:30 AM in Department 53, Robert B. Broadbelt, Presiding; Ex-Parte Proceedings

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  • 01/29/2019
  • Minute Order ( (Hearing on Ex Parte Application;)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/29/2019
  • Stipulation and Order (to Consolidate Cases); Filed by Clerk

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  • 01/17/2019
  • Demurrer - without Motion to Strike; Filed by Orion Precious Metals, Inc. (Cross-Defendant); JACOB BLALOCK (Cross-Defendant)

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313 More Docket Entries
  • 08/08/2017
  • NOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 08/08/2017
  • ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE HEARING

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  • 08/08/2017
  • Notice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/08/2017
  • OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv; Filed by Clerk

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  • 08/03/2017
  • Notice; Filed by Jacob Blalock (Plaintiff); BENJAMIN NOVAK (Plaintiff)

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  • 08/03/2017
  • NOTICE OF ERRATA

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  • 08/01/2017
  • SUMMONS

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  • 08/01/2017
  • COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR: (1) WRONGFUL TERMINATION IN VIOLATION OF PUBLIC POLICY;ETC

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  • 08/01/2017
  • Complaint; Filed by Jacob Blalock (Plaintiff); BENJAMIN NOVAK (Plaintiff)

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  • 11/11/1971
  • Case Management Statement; Filed by HALT GOLD GROUP LLC (Defendant)

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC670702    Hearing Date: December 08, 2020    Dept: 53

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles – Central District

Department 53

jacob blalock , et al.;

Plaintiffs,

vs.

halt gold group, llc , et al.,

Defendants.

Case No.:

BC670702 (consolidated w/ BC678811)

Hearing Date:

December 8, 2020

Time:

10:00 a.m.

[Tentative] Order RE:

(1) motion by cross-complainant halt gold group, llc dba patriot gold group llc to compel responses and for issue, evidentiary, monetary and terminating sanctions;

(2) Motion by Cross-Complainant Halt Gold Group, LLC dba Patriot Gold Group LLC to Compel Deposition of Person Most Qualified to Testify On Behalf of Cross-Defendant Orion Precious Metals, Inc. dba Orion Metal Exchange

AND RELATED CROSS-ACTION

MOVING PARTY: Defendants and cross-complainants Halt Gold Group LLC, dba Patriot Gold Group LLC

RESPONDING PARTIES: Plaintiffs and cross-defendants Jacob Blalock and Benjamin Novak, and cross-defendant Orion Precious Metals, Inc., dba Orion Metal Exchange

  1. Motion by Cross-Complainant Halt Gold Group, LLC dba Patriot Gold Group LLC to Compel Responses and For Issue, Evidentiary, Monetary and Terminating Sanctions

The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

MOVING PARTY: Defendants and cross-complainants Halt Gold Group LLC, dba Patriot Gold Group LLC

RESPONDING PARTIES: Plaintiffs and cross-defendants Jacob Blalock and Benjamin Novak, and cross-defendant Orion Precious Metals, Inc., dba Orion Metal Exchange

  1. Motion by Cross-Complainant Halt Gold Group, LLC dba Patriot Gold Group LLC to Compel Deposition of Person Most Qualified to Testify On Behalf of Cross-Defendant Orion Precious Metals, Inc. dba Orion Metal Exchange

The court considered the moving, opposition, and reply papers.

BACKGROUND

Plaintiffs Jacob Blalock (“Blalock”) and Benjamin Novak (“Novak”) filed this action on August 1, 2017, against defendants Halt Gold Group, LLC, dba Patriot Gold Group, LLC (“Patriot”), Mike Celano (“Celano”), Charley Chartoff, John “Jack” Hanney, and Alexander Orbison. Blalock and Novak filed the operative First Amended Complaint on November 29, 2017, asserting causes of action for, among other things, violations of the Fair Employment and Housing Act and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

On October 20, 2017, Patriot filed a Cross-Complaint in the FEHA Action against Blalock, Novak, and cross-defendant Orion Precious Metals, Inc. (“Orion”). On December 12, 2018, Patriot and Celano filed the operative Second Amended Cross-Complaint against Blalock, Novak, and Orion (collectively, “Cross-Defendants”), asserting causes of action for (1) misappropriation of trade secrets, (2) breach of contract, and (3) defamation.

MOTION BY CROSS-COMPLAINANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC TO COMPEL RESPONSES AND FOR ISSUE, EVIDENTIARY, MONETARY AND TERMINATING SANCTIONS

  1. Background

On January 18, 2019, Patriot (1) electronically served on Orion its Requests for Production of Documents, Set One and Special Interrogatories, Set One, and (2) electrically served on Novak its Form Interrogatories, Set Two. (Nemecek Decl., filed February 21, 2020, ¶ 2.)

On January 22, 2019, Patriot electronically served on Blalock and Novak its Requests for Production of Documents, Set Two, and Special Interrogatories, Set Three. (Id. at ¶ 4.)

On August 7, 2019, Patriot electronically served on Orion its Form Interrogatories, Set One. (Id. at ¶ 9.) On October 6, 2019, Orion served its responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set One, but Orion’s responses were not verified. (Id. at ¶ 14.)

As of February 21, 2020, Cross-Defendants have not served any responses to the discovery request at issue, except for Orion’s unverified responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set One. (Id. at ¶ 24.)

Patriot now moves for orders compelling (1) Novak to serve responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set Two, and Special Interrogatories, Set Three, and to serve responses and produce documents responsive to Patriot’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set Two; (2) Blalock to serve responses to Patriot’s Special Interrogatories, Set Three, and Form Interrogatories, Set One, and to serve responses and produce documents responsive to Patriot’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set Two; and (3) Orion to serve responses to Patriot’s Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Form Interrogatories, Set One, and to serve responses and produce documents responsive to Patriot’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set One. Patriot also moves for an order imposing terminating, issue, or evidentiary sanctions, as well as monetary sanctions against Cross-Defendants. Cross-Defendants oppose the motion.

  1. Request for Judicial Notice

The court grants Patriot’s request for judicial notice, filed March 9, 2020, as to Exhibit A.

  1. Discussion

If a party to whom interrogatories or an inspection demand are directed fails to serve a timely response, the propounding party may move for an order compelling responses without objections. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, subd. (b); 2031.300, subd. (b).) Where a motion seeks only a response to an inspection demand, no showing of “good cause” is required. (Compare Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.300(b) with Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.310, subd. (b)(1).)

As an initial matter, the court notes that Patriot, in its Notice of Motion, filed February 21, 2020, moves to compel Blalock to serve responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set One. However, Patriot has not presented any evidence or argument to show that it served on Blalock its Form Interrogatories, Set One, and that Blalock failed to serve his responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set One. The court therefore denies Patriot’s motion to compel Blalock to serve responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set One.[1]

In their opposition, Cross-Defendants contend that each of the discovery requests at issue were not properly served and that Cross-Defendants were therefore under no obligation to respond. Cross-Defendants state that there was and is no agreement between the parties for electronic service as required by Code of Civil Procedure section 1010.6. Counsel for Cross-Defendants, Adam Zaffos, states in his declaration filed in support of Cross-Defendants’ opposition that there is not a written agreement between the parties for electronic service. (Zaffos Decl., filed March 3, 2020, ¶ 2.) Zaffos acknowledges that his firm uses an electronic service provider to transmit filings with the court due to the electronic filing requirements of the court, and he further states that service of documents is still completed by an authorized method, and that any electronic copies that Patriot or Cross-Defendants may receive are merely a courtesy and are not reflective of any agreement for accepting electronic service. (Ibid.) Zaffos also states that Cross-Defendants have made attempts to informally resolve these discovery disputes, including offering to provide responses to a narrowed set of discovery, even though proper service had never been made. (Id. at ¶ 13.)

In reply, Patriot contends that Cross-Defendants have consented to accept electronic service of documents by electronically filing documents with the court. Patriot relies on California Rules of Court, rule 2.251(b)[2], which, at the time Patriot served its discovery requests, provided, in relevant part:

  1. Electronic service may be established by consent. A party or other person indicates that the party or other person agrees to accept electronic service by:

. . .

(B) Electronically filing any document with the court. The act of electronic filing is evidence that the party or other person agrees to accept service at the electronic service address the party or other person has furnished to the court under rule 2.256(a)(4). . . . .

(California Rules of Court, rule 2.251(b)(1)(B).) Rule 2.256(a)(4) provides that each electronic filer must “[f]urnish one or more electronic service addresses, in the manner specified by the court. This only applies when the electronic filer has consented to or is required to accept electronic service.”

Here, Cross-Defendants have not consented to and were not required to accept electronic service in this action. Cross-Defendants were not required to furnish one or more electronic service addresses to the court pursuant to rule 2.256(a)(4), and have not agreed to accept service at any electronic service address furnished to the court under rule 2.256(a)(4). For cases filed on or before December 31, 2018, electronic service of documents, including discovery requests, is not authorized “unless a party or other person has agreed to accept electronic service in that specific action or the court has ordered electronic service on a represented party . . . .” (Code Civ. Proc., § 1010.6, subd. (2)(A)(i).) Therefore, Patriot did not serve the discovery responses at issue by an authorized or agreed upon method, and the court denies Patriot’s motion to compel Cross-Defendants’ responses to the discovery requests.

If a party engages in the misuse of the discovery process, the court may impose monetary, issue, evidence, or terminating sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030.) Code of Civil Procedure section 2023.010 provides, in relevant part, that “[m]isuses of the discovery process include, but are not limited to, the following: . . . . (d) Failing to respond or to submit to an authorized method of discovery. . . . . (g) Disobeying a court order to provide discovery.” The court finds that Cross-Defendants have not engaged in conduct that is a misuse of the discovery process. The court denies Patriot’s request for terminating, issue, or evidentiary sanctions. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2023.030.)

In their opposition, Cross-Defendants request monetary sanctions against Patriot and its counsel in the total amount of $4,250. The court “shall” impose a monetary sanction against any party who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel a response to interrogatories or a motion to compel a response to a demand for inspection, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of sanctions unjust. (Code Civ. Proc., §§ 2030.290, subd. (c), 2031.300, subd. (c).) The court finds that Patriot did not act with substantial justification and that no other circumstances make the imposition of sanctions unjust. The court finds that a total of $4,250 (10 hours x $425 per hour for Adam Zaffos) is a reasonable amount of sanctions to impose against Patriot on its motion to compel responses.

MOTION BY CROSS-COMPLAINANT HALT GOLD GROUP, LLC DBA PATRIOT GOLD GROUP LLC TO COMPEL DEPOSITION OF PERSON MOST QUALIFIED TO TESTIFY ON BEHALF OF CROSS-DEFENDANT ORION PRECIOUS METALS, INC. DBA ORION METAL EXCHANGE

  1. Background

On August 7, 2019, Patriot served a notice of deposition directed to Orion for personal appearance and production of documents at the deposition of Orion’s person(s) most qualified on September 9, 2019. (Nemecek Decl., filed May 11, 2020, ¶ 2.) On September 9, 2019, Blalock appeared for and testified on behalf of Orion, and Orion produced some documents responsive to the August 7, 2019 deposition notice. (Id. at ¶¶ 3-4.)

On January 24, 2020, Patriot served a second amended notice of deposition directed to Orion for personal appearance and production of documents at the deposition of Orion’s person(s) most qualified on February 28, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 5.) Due to scheduling conflicts, the parties agreed to reschedule the continued deposition of Orion’s person(s) most qualified to March 2, 2020. (Id. at ¶ 6.) On February 18, 2020, Patriot served a third amended notice of deposition directed to Orion for personal appearance and production of documents at the deposition of Orion’s person(s) most qualified on March 2, 2020 (the “Third Amended Deposition Notice”).

On March 2, 2020, Blalock and Novak each appeared for and testified on behalf of Orion, and Orion did not produce any documents responsive to the Third Amended Deposition Notice. (Id. at ¶¶ 7-8.)

Patriot now moves for an order compelling Orion (1) to appear for deposition and testify on topic nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12 set forth in the Third Amended Deposition Notice, (2) to appear for deposition for questions it refused to answer at the March 2, 2020 deposition, and (3) to produce documents responsive to document requests nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 27, 28, and 32 set forth in the Third Amended Deposition Notice. Patriot also requests monetary sanctions against Orion and its counsel of record. Cross-Defendants oppose the motion.

  1. Discussion

“If a deponent fails to answer any question or to produce any document, electronically stored information, or tangible thing under the deponent’s control that is specified in the deposition notice or a deposition subpoena, the party seeking discovery may move the court for an order compelling that answer or production.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (a).) The motion “shall be made no later than 60 days after the completion of the record of the deposition, and shall be accompanied by a meet and confer declaration under Section 2016.040.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (b).)

Patriot contends that, at the March 2, 2020 deposition, Blalock and Novak were not competent to testify on Orion’s behalf, the deponents provided evasive responses or refused to answer several questions, and that Orion failed to produce any document responsive to the Third Amended Deposition Notice.

In opposition, Cross-Defendants first contend that Patriot’s motion is procedurally defective under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.480, subdivision (b), because Patriot filed its motion later than 60 days after the completion of the record of the March 2, 2020 deposition and Patriot failed to meet and confer before filing its motion. The transcripts of the March 2, 2020 deposition were completed by the court reporter on March 5, 2020, and the stipulated deadline for the witnesses to make corrections to their testimony was March 12, 2020. (Nemecek Decl., filed May 11, 2020, Exs. E and F; Nemecek Supp. Decl., filed September 16, 2020, ¶ 2.) Therefore, the date of the completion of the record of the March 2, 2020 was March 12, 2020. Patriot filed its motion on May 11, 2020, i.e., 60 days after March 12, 2020. The court finds that Patriot’s motion is timely under Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.480, subdivision (b). The court also finds that Patriot has substantially complied with the meet and confer requirements of subdivision (b). (Nemecek Decl., filed May 11, 2020, ¶ 17, Ex. K.)

Cross-Defendants next contend that Orion produced the only two individuals with knowledge of the topics set forth in the Third Amended Deposition Notice, that Orion was justified in refusing to answer questions pertaining to certain topics, that Patriot failed to show good cause justifying production of documents responsive to the Third Amended Deposition Notice, and that Orion’s objections served in response to the Third Amended Deposition Notice are with merit.

After considering the evidence and arguments presented by both parties, the court finds that Patriot has not met its burden of show that Orion did not designate and produce at the March 2, 2020 deposition those of its officers, directors, managing agents, employees, or agents who are most qualified to testify on its behalf as to topics nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12 to the extent any information known or reasonably available to the deponent. (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.230.) The court therefore denies Patriot’s motion to compel Orion to produce its persons most qualified to testify on those topics.

After considering the deposition questions set forth in Patriot’s Separate Statement and the arguments presented by both parties, the court rules on Patriot’s motion to compel Orion’s answers to the questions asked at the March 2, 2020 deposition as follows:

After considering the document requests set forth in Patriot’s Separate Statement and the arguments presented by both parties, the court rules on Patriot’s motion to compel Orion to produce documents responsive to the document requests set forth in Patriot’s Third Amended Deposition Notice as follows

Patriot seeks monetary sanctions against Orion and its counsel. “The court shall impose a monetary sanction under Chapter 7 . . . against any party, person, or attorney who unsuccessfully makes or opposes a motion to compel an answer or production, unless it finds that the one subject to the sanction acted with substantial justification or that other circumstances make the imposition of the sanction unjust.” (Code Civ. Proc., § 2025.480, subd. (j).) The court denies Patriot’s request for monetary sanctions because the court finds that Patriot obtained mixed results on its motion to compel deposition and production of documents and the circumstances presented make the imposition of sanctions unjust. The court also denies Cross-Defendants’ request for monetary sanctions against Patriot for the same reasons.

ORDER

For the reasons set forth above, the court orders as follows.

The court denies Patriot’s motion to compel (1) Novak to serve responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set Two, and Special Interrogatories, Set Three, and to serve responses and produce documents responsive to Patriot’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set Two; (2) Blalock to serve responses to Patriot’s Special Interrogatories, Set Three, and Form Interrogatories, Set One, and to serve responses and produce documents responsive to Patriot’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set Two; and (3) Orion to serve responses to Patriot’s Special Interrogatories, Set One, and Form Interrogatories, Set One, and to serve responses and produce documents responsive to Patriot’s Requests for Production of Documents, Set One.

The court denies Patriot’s request for issue, evidentiary, terminating, and monetary sanctions made in connection with Patriot’s motion to compel responses to its Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Production of Documents.

The court grants Cross-Defendants’ request for monetary sanctions against Patriot made in connection with Patriot’s motion to compel responses to its Form Interrogatories, Special Interrogatories, and Requests for Production of Documents. As discussed above, the court orders that Patriot shall pay monetary sanctions in the amount of $4,250 to Cross-Defendants within 30 days of the date of service of this order.

The court grants in part, and denies in part, Patriot’s motion for an order compelling Orion (1) to appear for deposition and testify on topic nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12 set forth in Patriot’s February 18, 2020 Third Amended Deposition Notice, (2) to appear for deposition for questions it refused to answer at the March 2, 2020 deposition, and (3) to produce documents responsive to document requests nos. 2, 3, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 17, 27, 28, and 32 set forth in Patriot’s February 18, 2020 Third Amended Deposition Notice, as follows.

The court denies Patriot’s motion to compel Orion to designate and produce at deposition the persons most qualified to testify on its behalf as to topic nos. 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10, 11, and 12 set forth in the February 18, 2020 Third Amended Deposition Notice.

Pursuant to Code of Civil Procedure section 2025.480, subdivision (a), the court orders Orion to designate and produce at deposition the persons most qualified to testify on its behalf, and to answer the following questions set forth in Patriot’s Separate Statement in support of its motion to compel deposition:

The court orders Patriot to produce all documents responsive to the following document requests set forth in Patriot’s February 18, 2020 Third Amended Deposition Notice within 30 days of the date of service of this order:

The court denies Patriot and Cross-Defendants’ requests for monetary sanctions made in connection with Patriot’s motion to compel deposition and production of documents.

The court orders Cross-Defendants to give notice of this order.

IT IS SO ORDERED.

DATED: December 8, 2020

_____________________________

Robert B. Broadbelt III

Judge of the Superior Court


[1] In its motion, Patriot contends that Blalock has not served any responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set Three. (Patriot’s Memorandum of Points & Authorities, filed February 21, 2020, p. 10:8-9.) However, Patriot does not state in its notice of motion that it moves to compel Blalock’s responses to Patriot’s Form Interrogatories, Set Three.

[2] Rule 2.251 was subsequently amended on January 1, 2020.

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