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SAXHOLM AS v. DYNAL

UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK


August 8, 1996

SAXHOLM AS, and THE ESTATE OF ROLF SAXHOLM, GUNVOR SAXHOLM, as SOLE HEIR, Plaintiffs, against DYNAL, INC, and DYNAL AS, Defendants.

The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROSS

ORDER

 ROSS, United States District Judge:

 Plaintiffs appeal from Magistrate Judge Pohorelsky's February 6, 1996 memorandum and order (the "Order") granting defendants' motion to compel plaintiffs to produce draft patent applications. This court "shall modify or set aside any portion of the magistrate judge's order found to be clearly erroneous or contrary to law." Fed. R. Civ. P. 72(a). "In deciding discovery disputes, however, a magistrate judge is entitled to 'broad discretion, which will be overruled only if abused.'" Pisacane v. Enichem America, Inc., 1996 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9755, No. 94 Civ. 7843, 1996 WL 391865, at *2 (S.D.N.Y. July 12, 1996) (quoting Dubin v. E.F. Hutton Group Inc., 125 F.R.D. 372, 373-74 (S.D.N.Y. 1989)).

 Plaintiffs contend that Magistrate Judge Pohorelsky erroneously concluded that the attorney/client privilege does not extend to the draft patent applications that defendants seek to have produced. Magistrate Judge Pohorelsky concluded that, contrary to plaintiffs' assertions, draft patent applications are not privileged solely because they are draft patent applications. Rather, as to any document denominated a "draft patent application," plaintiffs bore the burden of establishing that communications within that draft were intended as confidential legal communications between attorney and client, and met the other requirements of the attorney/client privilege. Because plaintiffs apparently made no specific showing as to any of the draft patent applications at issue, apart from the wholesale assertion that they were "draft patent applications," Magistrate Judge Pohorelsky found that plaintiffs had not met their burden in establishing the privilege.

 Because a review of the caselaw and record provides no basis to conclude that Magistrate Judge Pohorelsky's finding was erroneous, much less an abuse of discretion, the February 6, 1996 memorandum and order is affirmed.

 SO ORDERED.

 ALLYNE R. ROSS

 United States District Judge

 DATED: Brooklyn, New York

 August 8, 1996

19960808

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