United States District Court, D. Nebraska
FRANCO RIBEIRO and DEANNA RIBEIRO, as individuals and as next friends and biological parents of Lucas Ribeiro, an infant, Plaintiffs,
BABY TREND, INC., a corporation, MARK SEDLACK, MILLENIUM DEVELOPMENT CORP., INDIANA MILLS & MANUFACTURING INC., LERADO GROUP CO., LTD., LERADO GROUP HOLDING COMPANY, LTD., LERADO ZHONG SHAN INDUSTRIAL CO., LTD., LERADO CHINA LIMITED, LERADO H.K. LIMITED, HOLMBERGS SAFETY SYSTEM HOLDING AB, GNOSJOGRUPPEN AB, HOLMBERGS CHILDSAFETY AB, MAXI MILIAAN B.V., and DOREL INDUSTRIES, INC., Defendants.
GOSSETT, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
matter is before the court on the motion for protective order
(Filing No. 514) filed by defendants Lerado Group
Co., Ltd., Lerado Group (Holding) Company Ltd., Lerado (Zhong
Shan) Industrial Co., Ltd., Lerado China Limited, and Lerado
H.K. Limited (collectively, “Lerado defendants”).
The Lerado defendants seek an order permitting their Rule
30(b)(6) representative to be deposed remotely via
and the Lerado defendants have been attempting to schedule
the deposition of the Lerado defendants' Rule 30(b)(6)
representative for months. On August 19, 2016, the court
denied Plaintiffs' motion to compel the Lerado Rule
30(b)(6) deposition, noting its perception of an ongoing
pattern of lack of cooperation between the parties and
failure to meaningfully confer in good faith. The court
required the parties to meet and confer and prepare an audio
recording of the meet and confer for the court to review, in
the event they were unsuccessful at scheduling the
deposition. (Filing No. 482 at p. 2).
recorded meet and confer took place on August 23, 2016. At
the time of the meet and confer, counsel for the Lerado
defendants had not selected its Rule 30(b)(6) representative
due to language barrier issues, but stated he would follow up
with Plaintiffs by the end of the week. (Filing No. 520-3
at pp. 5-7). Counsel for the Lerado defendants stated
the location of the deposition “definitely won't be
in China, ” and would “make sure it's in the
United States with the hope that it will actually be
something we can schedule in Omaha.” (Filing No.
520-3 at p. 6). The parties discussed scheduling
depositions in the first half of October.
to the recorded meet and confer, on September 16, 2016,
counsel for the Lerado defendants notified Plaintiffs'
counsel by email that the witness best suited to testify as
the Rule 30(b)(6) witness lives in Taiwan and that it would
be a challenge for him to travel to the United States to
testify. (Filing No. 516-1 at p. 1). The Lerado
defendants stated the witness was available to testify via
videoconference on the parties' previously agreed upon
date of October 12, 2016, but in emails dated September 23
and 26, 2016, Plaintiffs' counsel firmly rejected the
Lerado defendants' offer of a video deposition.
(Filing No. 516-1 at p. 2; Filing No. 520-8 at p.
1). The Lerado defendants filed the instant motion for a
protective order on September 30, 2016.
a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition is taken at the corporation's
principal place of business. 8A Charles Alan Wright, Arthur
R. Miller & Richard L. Marcus, Federal Practice and
Procedure § 2112 (3d ed. 2010). “This
customary treatment is subject to modification, however, when
justice requires.” Id. “It is well
settled that the district court has great discretion in
designating the location of taking a deposition . . .
.” Thompson v. Sun Oil Co., 523 F.2d 647, 648
(8th Cir. 1975). The court may order “that a deposition
be taken by telephone or other remote means.”
Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(4). Pursuant to Rule 26(c)(1) of the
Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the court may, for good
cause, issue a protective order to prevent or limit discovery
to “protect a party or person from annoyance,
embarrassment, oppression or undue burden or
expense[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1). Such an
order may “includ[e] . . . specifying terms, including
time and place, for the disclosure or discovery[.]”
Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(c)(1)(B). “Rule 26(c)
confers broad discretion on the trial court to decide when a
protective order is appropriate and what degree of protection
is required.” Seattle Times Co. v. Rhinehart,
467 U.S. 20, 36 (1984).
Lerado defendants are companies based in China. The Lerado
defendants' Rule 30(b)(6) representative lives and works
in Taiwan, and is unable to travel to the United States on
the dates agreed upon by counsel in compliance with the
current discovery timeline. The Lerado defendants represent
that it will take a minimum of three days for the
representative to travel to and from Taiwan, which requires
the representative to “obtain prior approval and meet
certain internal protocols, ” a process which can take
several weeks. The Lerado defendants suggest that a
videoconference will cut down on cost and inconvenience for
both parties, as it will eliminate the need for international
travel and expedite scheduling. Plaintiffs have represented
to the court that they do not wish to prolong discovery or
push back the trial date. The court finds a videoconference
deposition of the Lerado defendants' Rule 30(b)(6)
witness would best accomplish this goal. Plaintiffs' only
objection to a deposition by videoconference is the amount of
exhibits they plan on using. (Filing No. 520-8 at p.
1). The court is confident the parties can devise a
solution to this problem, such as emailing, faxing, or
mailing the exhibits Plaintiffs wish to use during the
deposition. In consideration of the above, the court finds
the deposition of the Lerado defendants should be taken via
videoconference on a date mutually agreed upon by the
most recent progression order sets October 31, 2016, as the
deadline for completing depositions. (Filing No.
492). Obviously, depositions will not be complete by
this deadline. The court will extend the deadline to complete
depositions to November 30, 2016. Accordingly, IT IS ORDERED:
Motion for Protective Order Re: Lerado Defendants' Rule
30(b)(6) Deposition Location (Filing No. 514) is
granted. The parties are to meet and confer within one week
of this order to schedule the deposition of the Lerado Rule