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AMG National Trust Bank v. Ries

June 3, 2009

AMG NATIONAL TRUST BANK, PLAINTIFF,
v.
STEPHEN C. RIES, DEFENDANT.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Joyner, J.

MEMORANDUM and ORDER

Before this Court is Plaintiff's Motion to Compel (Doc. No. 96) and Defendant's Response in Opposition (Doc. No. 98). For the reasons set forth, we will grant in part and deny in part.

Standard

Under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, district courts have broad discretion to manage discovery. Sempier v. Johnson & Higgins, 45 F.3d 724, 734 (3rd Cir. 1995). Discovery need not be confined to matters of admissible evidence, but may encompass that which "appears reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence." Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).

Discussion

Plaintiff has served a series of interrogatories and document requests on defendant. Defendant has answered certain requests, but has refused to respond to others. Plaintiff, in its Motion to Compel, argues that even when defendant has responded to the outlined interrogatories and document requests, defendant's responses have been either incomplete or unresponsive. Plaintiff's summary of its requests in its Proposed Order do not mirror the requests that are detailed in its Memorandum of Law. Thus, in an effort to manage discovery and avoid confusion, this Court will grant, deny or limit each specific request made by plaintiff in its Memorandum of Law. Thus, we review each request individually to determine whether, under the standard set out in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the documents requested or subpoenaed are discoverable. Plaintiff's interrogatories, document requests and subpoenas are granted, denied or limited as follows:

1. Plaintiff's First Set of Interrogatories: Interrogatory No. 9: "Identify any current or former AMG [Client] whom you assisted in delinking Schwab accounts from AMG at any time from August 16, 2006 through the present."

This request is limited to the term of the Non-compete provision. Thus, defendant shall identify any current or former AMG clients whom he assisted in delinking Schwab accounts from AMG at any time from August 16, 2006, through the end of the Non-competition Agreement.

2. Plaintiff's Expedited Request for Production of Documents: Document Request No. 1: "Any and all documents that relate or refer to any communication(s) between any AMG client either before or after his employment at AMG ended."

Defendant is directed to produce the above-described records. Defendant has provided only excerpted documents in response to this request. However, defendant's only argument for refusing disclosure is that plaintiff already has the names and information that defendant has excerpted from the documents. The mere fact that the names may be redundant will not excuse production. Defendant shall provide unredacted documents. Pursuant to the protective order in this case, defendant may mark these documents "Confidential." Further, defendant shall produce any and all documents that relate or refer to any communication(s) between any AMG client before or after his employment at AMG ended, through the present.

3. Plaintiff's Expedited Request for Production of Documents: Document Request No. 3: "Any and all records of telephone calls made or received by Defendant since January 1, 2006, including cell phone records, home telephone records and business records."

In response to this request, defendant has stated that he will produce phone records through the expiration of his Non-competition Agreement; however, plaintiff has requested records through present. Plaintiff claims that records after the expiration of the Non-competition Agreement are discoverable because they could lead to admissible evidence in regards to the trade secret claim. We agree and thus, we direct defendant to produce phone records through the present.

4. Plaintiff's Expedited Request for Production of Documents: Document Request No. 5: "Any and all documents that relate or refer to potential or actual new employment or self-employment by Defendant, including, but not limited to, documents setting forth the name and address of Defendant's present employer, any document describing the terms or conditions of employment, offer letters, or contracts."

Plaintiff and defendant disagree as to the documents that defendant has produced. Plaintiff claims that defendant has produced only the "Uniform Application of Investment Adviser Registration" and "several fee letters to unidentified customers related to his employment with QRS." Defendant, however, asserts that he has provided plaintiff with business telephone records for QRS, the completed SEC form "ADV" for QRS, fee agreements (and bills) sent to QRS customers and documentation regarding the public sources used to locate relevant QRS customers. We find that by producing fee letters to customers Mr. Ries has, in part, complied with this request. However, we also find that Mr. Ries's conditions of employment or offer letter, if in existence, are discoverable because they are ...


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