The opinion of the court was delivered by: ROBERT SWEET, Senior District Judge
Plaintiff G-I Holdings Inc. ("Holdings") has moved by letter of
November 17, 2003 to obtain discovery from defendants Baron & Budd,
Frederick Baron, Russell Budd ("Baron & Budd"), Ness, Motley,
Loadholt, Richardson & Poole, Ronald Motley, Joseph Rice ("Ness
Motley") and Weitz & Luxenberg, Perry Weitz, Robert Gordon ("Weitz
& Luxenberg") (collectively, the "Defendants") and the Defendants by
letter of December 5, 2003, have moved to obtain discovery from Holdings.
The status of this litigation and certain of the prior determinations
are contained in G-I Holdings v. Baron & Budd, 02
Civ. 0216, 2004 WL 540456 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 17, 2004); G-I
Holdings v. Baron & Budd, 2004 WL 374450 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 27,
2004); G-I Holdings v. Baron & Budd, 218 F.R.D. 409
(S.D.N.Y. 2003); G-I Holdings v. Baron & Budd,
213 F.R.D. 146 (S.D.N.Y. 2003); G-I Holdings v. Baron & Budd, 02 Civ.
0216, 2002 WL 31251702 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 8, 2002); G-I Holdings v.
Baron & Budd, 238 F. Supp.2d 521 (S.D.N.Y. 2002)
("Holdings II"); and G-I Holdings v. Baron &
Budd, 179 F. Supp.2d 233 (S.D.N.Y. 2001), familiarity with which
Holdings seeks a breakdown of sick/non-sick clients, as defined in
Exhibit 17 to its November 17, 2003 letter, attorneys' fees in each
category, identification of persons with knowledge of settlement analysis
and Center for Claims Resolution ("CCR") practices. The Defendants oppose
these requests as oppressive in scope and in execution, noting that tens
of thousands of client files are involved, that the files are
undifferentiated, and that discovery into Defendants' motive is
The parties will meet and confer on a process that will provide for a
representative sampling of each of the defendant firms' files over the
five-year period from 1994 to 1999 from which a percentage of sick and
non-sick clients can be derived. Percentage of attorneys' fees for each
of these years derived from asbestos litigation will be stated.
Representative retainer agreements will be produced. A witness familiar
with the settlement
process at the CCR before and after GAP was a member will be identified.
Holdings seeks identification of a witness with knowledge of documents
and communications concerning opposition to the Fairness in Asbestos
Compensation Act ("FACA"), the expulsion of GAF from the CCR, and the
February and April meetings with Holdings' predecessor. Such a witness
will be identified.
Documents exchanged between the Defendants or third parties relating to
those topics and the formation and operation of the Coalition for
Asbestos Resolution ("CAR") will be produced.
Holdings seeks identification from Ness Motley and Weitz &
Luxenberg of a witness with knowledge of the negotiation, modification
and performance of the Futures Agreement. Such a witness will be
Any documents between Ness Motley and Weitz & Luxenberg and their
clients referencing the Futures Agreements will be produced.
The Defendants seek production of all documents identified by Holdings
in response to interrogatories, noting certain Bates numbered identified
documents have not been produced and that certain documents produced are
incomplete. Bates numbered
identified documents will be produced as well as missing portions
of any produced documents.
Fact discovery will be completed by May 14, 2004. Any dispositive
motions will be made returnable June 16, 2004. The pretrial order will be
filed on September 15, 2004.