Schindler's second point in opposition is that the shut-down device is patent-pending (i.e., not yet fully protected), but still qualifies as a proprietary trade secret. Schindler is especially concerned about divulgence of proprietary data insofar as Wainwright's expert is a competitor of Schindler in developing and marketing escalator safety devices. However, Wainwright does not deny that Schindler is entitled to protection of its trade secrets; nor does Wainwright contest, for purposes of this motion, that the design of Schindler's shut-down device constitutes a trade secret. Indeed, Wainwright agreed to a protective order prohibiting disclosure or use of any proprietary information. Such an order complies with Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(7) and will adequately protect any legitimate confidentiality interest Schindler has.
In light of the foregoing, Schindler's motion for a protective order is conditionally granted. Disclosure or use of proprietary information relating to Schindler's shut-down device is prohibited. WMATA's motion to compel discovery from Schindler is granted, subject to the protective order.
PLAINTIFF'S MOTION OF JULY 30, 1993 TO EXTEND DISCOVERY TIME AND FOR COSTS AND ATTORNEYS' FEES
Schindler and WMATA are accused by Wainwright of refusing to answer interrogatories, balking at the production of documents, stonewalling on Rule 30(b)(6) depositions, producing an inadequate expert statement under Rule 26(b)(4)(A)(i), and other transgressions. Wainwright seeks extension of the August 1, 1993 discovery cutoff until thirty days after full and complete discovery is ordered. Wainwright also seeks recovery of costs for useless Rule 30(b)(6) depositions and motions to compel.
WMATA's version is that Wainwright's excess costs ware incurred due to overbroad, irrelevant discovery requests. Schindler's variant is that Wainwright's requests were unduly burdensome and not calculated to lead to admissible evidence. Additionally, Schindler chastises Wainwright for not objecting to the Rule 30(b)(6) designee at the time of his deposition, and asserts that the designee was both knowledgeable and forthcoming.
A thirty-day extension of discovery is agreeable to Schindler, although not for further deposition of witnesses already deposed. To the contrary, Wainwright resists any excuse by Schindler to depose new witnesses who could have been deposed prior to the cutoff. Wainwright says he seeks only to counteract obstructionist tactics by Schindler and WMATA. Whatever Wainwright's motivation, and whether or not justified, further deposition of witnesses already deposed may lead to the identification of new witnesses. Accordingly, discovery shall be extended to both identified and new witnesses.
The filings on this motion re-play charges and counter-charges raised in connection with prior discovery-related motions. The court is disinclined, at this time, to immerse itself in the merits of each interrogatory and document request; although a greater involvement remains an option should it regrettably become necessary. The court finds at this time that each party shall bear its own costs and attorneys' fees. Although defendants' arguments on the outstanding discovery disputes have been largely rejected, this court does not find the arguments to constitute sanctionable conduct. Wainwright's motion for costs and attorneys' fees is therefore denied.
Wainwright's motion to extend discovery time beyond August 1, 1993 is granted nunc pro tunc, without limitation to either identified or new witnesses. The parties shall hold a discovery conference on or before November 7, 1995 for the purpose of establishing a schedule of discovery consistent with this opinion and order. Because there are questions that the court has not addressed herein, the parties at their conference shall endeavor to narrow the remaining disputes. Wainwright shall submit a supplemental memorandum and proposed order on unresolved issues no later than November 13, 1995. Defendants' response and proposed order shall be due on November 20, 1995. Oral argument shall be held at a status conference, which is hereby set for 3:30 p.m. on November 21, 1995.
Royce C. Lamberth
United States District Judge
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