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Civil Procedure – Discovery – Corporate Designee

In this patent infringement dispute, a Richmond U.S. District Court grants plaintiff Humanscale’s motion to compel and orders defendant CompX to provide certain sales data and to make properly prepared designees available as corporate representatives for separate depositions on both financial and non-financial matters.

The parties’ arguments can be boiled down to this: Humanscale said that information it has collected shows that CompX has documents that it has yet to provide, while CompX responded that it has already provided all requested documents. At the hearing on this motion, Humanscale backed off its position, stating that after additional discussion with CompX’s counsel, Humanscale believes it has in fact been provided all the documents that remain in existence. With both parties agreeing that all surviving documents have been properly produced, the court denies as moot Humanscale’s motion to compel.

CompX also has sought discovery in the form of written interrogatories, and depositions. Humanscale named two witnesses it would produce, neither of whom addressed the financial information requests.

Humanscale offered its general counsel and director of intellectual property, as one corporate designee, and its CEO as a second designee. The parties continue to dispute whether these witnesses were sufficient to comply with Humanscale’s burden to produce knowledgeable witnesses. Humanscale has provided additional financial information, but a deposition on the financial information requests has yet to occur.

CompX still has not received sales data on any of Humanscale’s relevant product lines. To the extent that Humanscale keeps such sales data, the court will direct Humanscale to expeditiously produce that information. The court also directs Humanscale to provide the third and fourth quarter financial information to CompX as soon as that information becomes available, and directs Humanscale to offer a properly prepared Rule 30(b)(6) designee on the financial topics.

The court also directs Humanscale to make available Rule 30(b)(6) designees to be deposed on the non-financial topics, who should be prepared to answer questions on the subject matters stated in the deposition topic. Further, the court directs CompX to file a verified statement of its attorney’s fees and costs associated with preparing its motion so it may recover those costs.

Humanscale Corp. v. CompX Int’l (Spencer, J.) No. 3:09cv86, Dec. 24, 2009; USDC at Richmond, Va. VLW 010-3-009, 10 pp.

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