This case was last updated from Los Angeles County Superior Courts on 10/19/2020 at 22:32:19 (UTC).

MARTIN BERTUCCI VS HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FAI

Case Summary

On 10/06/2017 MARTIN BERTUCCI filed a Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury lawsuit against HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FAI. This case was filed in Los Angeles County Superior Courts, Stanley Mosk Courthouse located in Los Angeles, California. The Judge overseeing this case is MONICA BACHNER. The case status is Pending - Other Pending.

Case Details Parties Documents Dockets

 

Case Details

  • Case Number:

    ****8666

  • Filing Date:

    10/06/2017

  • Case Status:

    Pending - Other Pending

  • Case Type:

    Personal Injury - Other Personal Injury

  • Court:

    Los Angeles County Superior Courts

  • Courthouse:

    Stanley Mosk Courthouse

  • County, State:

    Los Angeles, California

Judge Details

Presiding Judge

MONICA BACHNER

 

Party Details

Plaintiff and Petitioner

BERTUCCI MARTIN

Defendants and Respondents

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE FAISAL BIN

ALASWAD IMMAD

DOES 1 TO 100

AMGROUP INCORPORATION

MIDWELL ESTATES HOLDINGS COMPANY

H.R.H. PRINCE KHALID

KHALID H.R.H. PRINCE

SAUD HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL

BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE FAISAL

ALASWAD IMAD

AMGROUP INC.

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD

Attorney/Law Firm Details

Defendant and Plaintiff Attorneys

COPPOLA CARLO ALESSANDRO

SIMON ROBERT T. ESQ.

MONTGOMERY MICHAEL JAMES

CONROY THOMAS JAMES

SIMON ROBERT TERRENCE

Plaintiff and Petitioner Attorney

SIMON ROBERT T. ESQ.

Defendant and Respondent Attorneys

POOLE DAVID S. ESQ.

WOOD SMITH HENNING & BERMAN LLP

POOLE & SHAFFERY LLP

COPPOLA CARLO ALESSANDRO

POOLE DAVID SEAN

BENKNER JASON ARTHUR

 

Court Documents

Minute Order - Minute Order (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

10/18/2018: Minute Order - Minute Order (CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE)

Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT OF ITEMS IN DISPUTE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL

10/2/2018: Separate Statement - SEPARATE STATEMENT OF ITEMS IN DISPUTE IN SUPPORT OF DEFENDANT HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD'S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALIDS MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND DECLARATION OF THOMAS J. CONROY I

8/27/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFFS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALIDS MOTION FOR SUMMARY ADJUDICATION; MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND DECLARATION OF THOMAS J. CONROY I

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEFENDANTS HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FA...)

9/13/2019: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (HEARING ON DEFENDANTS HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FA...)

Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 2

2/24/2020: Motion in Limine - MOTION IN LIMINE NO. 2

Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

3/18/2020: Minute Order - MINUTE ORDER (COURT ORDER)

Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF MARTIN BERTUCCIS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT PRINCE KHALID BIN FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUDS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET

3/21/2019: Opposition - OPPOSITION PLAINTIFF MARTIN BERTUCCIS OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT PRINCE KHALID BIN FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUDS MOTION TO COMPEL FURTHER RESPONSES TO SPECIAL INTERROGATORIES, SET

Reply - REPLY REPLY TO OPPOSITION

3/26/2019: Reply - REPLY REPLY TO OPPOSITION

Answer

3/4/2019: Answer

Reply - Reply to opposition to motion

1/8/2019: Reply - Reply to opposition to motion

SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT'S REPLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, STAY PROCEEDINGS

2/14/2018: SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT'S REPLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, STAY PROCEEDINGS

Motion to Compel - Further Responses to Special Interrogatories...

10/2/2018: Motion to Compel - Further Responses to Special Interrogatories...

PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT OR STAY PROCEEDINGS MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND DECLARATION OF THOMAS J. CONROY IN SUPPORT THEREOF

2/5/2018: PLAINTIFF'S OPPOSITION TO DEFENDANT'S MOTION TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT OR STAY PROCEEDINGS MEMORANDUM OF POINTS AND AUTHORITIES AND DECLARATION OF THOMAS J. CONROY IN SUPPORT THEREOF

DECLARATION OF IMAD ALASWAD IN SUPPORT OF MOTION OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT AMGROUP INC. TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, STAY PROCEEDINGS, PURSUANT TO C.C.P. SUBSECTIONS

2/7/2018: DECLARATION OF IMAD ALASWAD IN SUPPORT OF MOTION OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT AMGROUP INC. TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, STAY PROCEEDINGS, PURSUANT TO C.C.P. SUBSECTIONS

STIPULATION OF THE PARTIES TO CONTINUE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER

5/25/2018: STIPULATION OF THE PARTIES TO CONTINUE CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE; ORDER

DEFENDANT MIDWELL ESTATE HOLDINGS COMPANY?S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF MARTIN BERTUCCI AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS OF $1,132.50; DEC

6/28/2018: DEFENDANT MIDWELL ESTATE HOLDINGS COMPANY?S NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION TO COMPEL RESPONSES TO FORM INTERROGATORIES, SET ONE, FROM PLAINTIFF MARTIN BERTUCCI AND REQUEST FOR SANCTIONS OF $1,132.50; DEC

DECLARATION OF IMAD ALASWAD IN SUPPORT OF MOTION OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANTS TO QUASH SERVCE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

12/22/2017: DECLARATION OF IMAD ALASWAD IN SUPPORT OF MOTION OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANTS TO QUASH SERVCE OF SUMMONS FOR LACK OF PERSONAL JURISDICTION

DECLARATION OF SEAN M. KIM IN SUPPORT OF NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, STAY PROCEEDINGS, PURSUANT TO C.C.P. 410.

11/16/2017: DECLARATION OF SEAN M. KIM IN SUPPORT OF NOTICE OF MOTION AND MOTION OF SPECIALLY APPEARING DEFENDANT TO DISMISS PLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT, OR IN THE ALTERNATIVE, STAY PROCEEDINGS, PURSUANT TO C.C.P. 410.

232 More Documents Available

 

Docket Entries

  • 02/22/2021
  • Hearing02/22/2021 at 10:00 AM in Department 71 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Jury Trial

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  • 02/11/2021
  • Hearing02/11/2021 at 09:00 AM in Department 71 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012; Final Status Conference

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  • 09/16/2020
  • DocketNotice of Ruling; Filed by Martin Bertucci (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/15/2020
  • Docketat 09:30 AM in Department 71, Monica Bachner, Presiding; Hearing on Motion to Quash (Deposition Subpoena Upon Plaintiff's Expert Kris Herzog) - Held - Motion Granted

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  • 09/15/2020
  • DocketMinute Order ( (Motion of Plaintiff, Martin Bertucci, to Quash Deposition Sub...)); Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/15/2020
  • DocketRuling; Filed by Clerk

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  • 09/15/2020
  • DocketOrder Appointing Court Approved Reporter as Official Reporter Pro Tempore; Filed by Martin Bertucci (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/08/2020
  • DocketReply (To Defendants Opposition To The Motion To Quash Service Of Deposition Subpoena Upon Plaintiffs Retained Expert Kris Herzog; Memorandum Of Points And Authorities And Declaration Of Thomas J. Conroy In Support Thereof); Filed by Martin Bertucci (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/08/2020
  • DocketObjection (TO EVIDENCE IN SUPPORT OF THE REPLY TO DEFENDANTS OPPOSITION TO THE MOTION TO QUASH SERVICE OF DEPOSITION SUBPOENA UPON PLAINTIFFS EXPERT KRIS HERZOG); Filed by Martin Bertucci (Plaintiff)

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  • 09/01/2020
  • DocketMemorandum of Points & Authorities; Filed by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Defendant)

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362 More Docket Entries
  • 11/16/2017
  • DocketDeclaration; Filed by His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (Defendant); His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud Erroneously Sued As His Royal Highness Prince Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (D

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  • 11/13/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 11/13/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/26/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 10/26/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/11/2017
  • DocketNotice of Case Management Conference; Filed by Clerk

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  • 10/11/2017
  • DocketNOTICE OF CASE MANAGEMENT CONFERENCE

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  • 10/06/2017
  • DocketComplaint; Filed by Martin Bertucci (Plaintiff)

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  • 10/06/2017
  • DocketSUMMONS

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  • 10/06/2017
  • DocketPLAINTIFF'S COMPLAINT FOR: 1.NEGLTGENCE ;ETC

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Tentative Rulings

Case Number: BC678666    Hearing Date: September 15, 2020    Dept: 71

Superior Court of California

County of Los Angeles

DEPARTMENT 71

TENTATIVE RULING

MARTIN BERTUCCI,

vs.

HIS ROYAL HIGHNESS PRINCE KHALID BIN FAISAL BIN SULTAN BIN ABDULAZIZ AL SAUD, et al.

Case No.: BC678666

Hearing Date: September 15, 2020

Plaintiff’s motion to quash deposition subpoena is granted.

Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions is denied.

Plaintiff Martin Bertucci (“Plaintiff”) moves for an order quashing the service of the deposition subpoena for personal appearance on non-party Kris Herzog (“Herzog”), Plaintiff’s expert consultant, issued by Defendant His Royal Highness Prince Khalid Bin Faisal Bin Sultan Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud (“Defendant”) pursuant to C.C.P. §1987.1, or alternatively, a protective order preventing said deposition. (Notice of Motion, pgs. 1-2.) Plaintiff also requests an award of monetary sanctions against Defendant and his attorneys of record in the amount of $3,200.

Plaintiff’s 9/8/20 evidentiary objections to the Declaration of Carlo A. Coppola (“Coppola”) are overruled as to No. 1 and sustained as to Nos. 2-7. (Decl. of Coppola ¶¶2(a)-(f).) Plaintiff objects to portions of Coppola’s declaration that set forth statements made by an anonymous caller who telephoned Coppola on May 18, 2020. Specifically, Plaintiff objects to statements the anonymous caller made on his own behalf as well as statements he made relating to statements and/or acts of Herzog and/or Plaintiff. However, since Defendant offers these statements for the truth of the matter they assert, they are inadmissible hearsay.

Background

On October 6, 2017, Plaintiff filed his initial complaint in this action against Defendant, Defendant AmGroup, Inc. (“AmGroup”), and other named defendants for causes of action relating to Defendant’s alleged assault of Plaintiff. (Motion, pg. 3.) Plaintiff’s action against AmGroup, the entity that had hired Plaintiff to work Defendant’s security detail, involved allegations of deficient security protocols and hiring practices. (Motion, pg. 3.) On August 26, 2019, Plaintiff designated Herzog as an expert who would testify on applicable standards of hiring and retention of private security personnel. (Motion, pgs. 3-4; Decl. of Conroy, Exh. 1.) On February 13, 2020, Plaintiff dismissed AmGroup from the action and on February 14, 2020, Plaintiff’s counsel de-designated Herzog as a testifying expert. (Decl. of Conroy, Exh. 2.)

As background for the instant motion, but not introduced as evidence, Defendant contends that on May 18, 2020, Defendant’s counsel received an anonymous call from an individual claiming to have information relating to statements Plaintiff allegedly made to Herzog about the merits of his action, statements Herzog allegedly made to Defendants’ counsel Bret Geckeler (“Geckeler”) and Tom Conroy (“Conroy”), as well as other statements allegedly made by Herzog to the Caller. (Opposition, pgs. 2-3.)

On June 8, 2020, Defendant served a Notice of Deposition by Subpoena of Herzog (“Notice”) on Plaintiff for July 1, 2020. The Court notes the Notice did not indicate the purpose of the deposition or the scope of the questions to be asked of Herzog, at this stage, an un-designated expert witness. On June 9, 2020, Plaintiff served Defendant with a formal objection to the Notice, which asserted the Notice violated C.C.P. §2034.210, sought privileged attorney work product, and was vague, overbroad, and irrelevant. (Decl. of Conroy, Exh. 5.) Plaintiff filed the instant motion to quash service of the Notice on June 24, 2020. On June 26, 2020, the Court granted Plaintiff’s ex parte application to stay the subpoena of Herzog until after the Court ruled on the instant motion.

Based on the parties’ meet and confer correspondence, Plaintiff’s counsel first learned of the anonymous call as the apparent basis for Defendant’s subpoena of Herzog at the hearing on the ex parte application. (Decl. of Coppola ¶4, Exh. A.) In addition, Plaintiff did not learn the substance of the anonymous call until August 11, 2020, when Coppola emailed Plaintiff a summary in response to Plaintiff’s June 26, 2020 email requesting information about the call pursuant to the Court’s direction to meet and confer. (Reply, pg. 6; Decl. of Conroy ¶5, Exh. B; Decl. of Coppola ¶4, Exh. A.) Defendant filed his opposition on September 1, 2020 and Plaintiff filed his reply on September 8, 2020.

The Court notes Plaintiff’s motion was filed prior to being aware of the anonymous call Defendant received regarding Herzog and, accordingly, that Defendant sought to depose Herzog with respect to substance of the anonymous call. Plaintiff’s motion therefore addresses areas of testimony rendered moot by the intended limited scope of the deposition, such as his expert opinions. In addition, for the first time in opposition, Defendant asserts he seeks only a limited deposition of Herzog, excluding all references to his expert opinions and limited to Herzog’s conversations and communications with Plaintiff. (Opposition, pg. 4.)

Motion to Quash

C.C.P. §1987.1(a) provides, in pertinent part, as follows: “If a subpoena requires the attendance of a witness or the production of books, documents, electronically stored information, or other things… at the taking of a deposition, the court, upon motion reasonably made by [a party]…, may make an order quashing the subpoena entirely, modifying it, or directing compliance with it upon those terms or conditions as the court shall declare, including protective orders. In addition, the court may make any other order as may be appropriate to protect the person from unreasonable or oppressive demands, including unreasonable violations of the right of privacy of the person.”

Plaintiff is entitled to an order quashing service of the Notice of Deposition. Even as limited by Defendant, deposition of Herzog’s communications and/or conversations with Plaintiff seeks testimony protected by the work product doctrine. In addition, to the extent Defendant asserts the crime-fraud exception warrants piercing the privilege of the work product doctrine, Defendant did not satisfy his burden of justifying the exception. (Opposition, pgs. 4-5.) Here, Defendants have failed to present any admissible evidence that the crime-fraud exception applies, rather Defendant’s argument is based upon unreliable, anonymous hearsay.

Herzog’s designation as an expert was withdrawn before it was known with reasonable certainty he would testify as an expert and as such, his communications with Plaintiff are protected. (See Shooker v. Superior Court (2003) 111 Cal.App.4th 923, 928-930 [“The designation of a party as an expert trial witness is not in itself an implied waiver of the party's attorney-client privilege because his initial status is that of a possible expert witness. If the designation is withdrawn before the party discloses a significant part of a privileged communication (as in this case), or before it is known with reasonable certainty that the party will actually testify as an expert, the privilege is secure; if the party provides privileged documents or testifies as an expert (such as by stating his opinion in a declaration or at a deposition) the privilege is waived.”].) Here, the parties do not dispute Herzog had not yet been deposed and had not stated his opinion in a declaration.

Defendant asserts the work product protection does not apply to Herzog because it was reasonably certain Herzog would testify at the time Plaintiff removed his expert designation and because there is no evidence to suggest Herzog is currently retained as Plaintiff’s consultant. (Opposition, pgs. 6-7, citing County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court (1990) 222 Cal.App.3d 647, 656.) However, Defendant’s assertion it was reasonably certain Herzog would testify is conclusory, especially given the dismissal of AmGroup rendered Herzog’s potential testimony moot. In addition, as Defendant is seeking testimony protected by the work product doctrine, Plaintiff does not have the evidentiary burden of submitting evidence Herzog is currently retained as Plaintiff’s consultant. Defendant has not submitted evidence suggesting Herzog is not retained as a consultant. In addition, County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court, supra, 222 Cal.App.3d at 657–658 only addresses a situation in which an opposing party’s communication with an un-designated expert retained as a consultant is barred; but the Court of Appeal does not address whether such communication would be barred if expert had not been retained as a consultant. Moreover, even if Herzog is not currently retained as Plaintiff’s consultant, his testimony is protected given Plaintiff withdrew Herzog’s designation before it was known with reasonable certainty Herzog would actually testify. (See Shooker v. Superior Court, supra, 111 Cal.App.4th at 928-930.)

Defendant also argues the work product protection does not apply to an expert whose designation was withdrawn when the designation was withdrawn to deliberately suppress evidence. (Opposition, pgs. 7-10.) However, Defendant has not submitted evidence suggesting Herzog’s designation was withdrawn to deliberately suppress evidence. Notably, in County of Los Angeles v. Superior Court, supra, 222 Cal.App.3d at 656, the Court of Appeal found the expert designation had not been withdrawn to suppress evidence, as asserted by the plaintiff in that case, given the facts differed from Williamson v. Superior Court (1978) 21 Cal.3d 829, 836, and as such, the court concluded the County could withdraw its previously designated witness before the expert’s deposition. The facts here differ significantly from Williamson v. Superior Court, supra, 21 Cal.3d 829, in which the court concluded an agreement between two defendants to withdraw an expert and withhold his report in exchange for indemnification was essentially an agreement to suppress evidence and, as such, against public policy. There are no such facts underlying the withdrawal of Herzog’s designation in the instant matter, which occurred after Plaintiff dismissed AmGroup as a defendant, rendering Herzog’s planned testimony moot. Defendant submits no evidence suggesting Williamson applies. Defendant also relies on Petterson v. Superior Court (1974) 39 Cal.App.3d 267, 273 in which the court allowed the deposition of an expert based on evidence suggesting the expert had been designated for the purpose of preventing his testimony. (Opposition, pgs. 8-9.) However, Defendant has not submitted admissible evidence suggesting the withdrawal of Herzog’s designation was for an improper purpose of suppressing relevant damaging evidence; rather, Defendant’s assertion is based on hearsay and speculation.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s motion to quash the deposition subpoena is granted.

Sanctions

Plaintiff requests monetary sanctions against Defendant in the amount of $3,200. Defendant does not address Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions in opposition, and Plaintiff does not discuss the request in reply.

C.C.P. §1987.2(a) provides as follows: “[I]n making an order pursuant to [a motion to quash deposition subpoena], the court may in its discretion award the amount of the reasonable expenses incurred in making or opposing the motion, including reasonable attorney's fees, if the court finds the motion was made or opposed in bad faith or without substantial justification or that one or more of the requirements of the subpoena was oppressive.”

Plaintiff is not entitled to an award of monetary sanctions against Defendant. While Plaintiff prevailed on the motion, the Court does not find the motion was opposed in bad faith or without substantial justification or that one or more of the requirements of the subpoena was oppressive.

Based on the foregoing, Plaintiff’s request for monetary sanctions is denied.

Dated: September _____, 2020

Hon. Monica Bachner

Judge of the Superior Court