United States District Court, D. Nebraska
MICHAEL D. NELSON UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
This matter comes before the Court following a discovery
conference held with counsel for the parties by telephone on
September 25, 2018, before the undersigned magistrate judge.
The parties requested the conference to resolve a dispute in
the scope of topics set forth in Defendants' revised
30(b)(6) deposition notices to the governmental plaintiffs.
In advance of the conference, the Court received the
following documents from the parties by email:
Defendants' Revised Notice of 30(b)(6) Deposition to the
United States (Exhibit A) and to the State (Exhibit B), a
letter from the United States to defense counsel dated August
24, 2018, (Exhibit C), a letter from the State of Nebraska to
defense counsel dated August 24, 2018, (Exhibit D), and
defense counsel's letter in response dated September 19,
2018, (Exhibit E). During the telephone conference, all
parties agreed that the Court may enter a ruling on the
dispute raised in the above documents without formal motion
the Court granted the plaintiffs' motions for a
protective order regarding the scope of topics noticed in
Defendants' original Rule 30(b)(6) notices. The Court
instructed Defendants to “re-notice the depositions and
limit their topics of inquiry to factual issues relevant to
these cases.” (Filing No. 149 in the Lead Case).
According to the parties, Defendants' revised noticed
deposition topics 9, 10, 13, and 16 remain in dispute for the
United States, and topics 8, 9, 11, and 13 remain in dispute
for the State, set forth below:
States' Topics in Dispute
9: The identities of all individuals employed by the USA or
the State of Nebraska who were involved in decisions to take
steps to enforce and or collect the judgment entered by this
Court on January 31, 2014[, ] against Stabl or Nebraska
10: The identities of all individuals employed by either the
USA or the State of Nebraska who had “material
responsibility” regarding compliance with the
applicable statutes of limitations confronting the State of
Nebraska in the collection and enforcement of the January 31,
2014 Judgment in the underlying case.
13: All policies, written, oral, or procedural, regarding
adherence to applicable statutes of limitations when
enforcing judgments in favor of the USA.
Topics in Disputes
8: The identities of all individuals employed by the State
who were involved in decisions to take steps to enforce and
or collect the judgment entered by this Court on January 31,
2014[, ] against Stabl/Nebraska By-Products, Inc. in the
underlying case (No. 8:11CV274).
9: The identities of all individuals employed by the State
who had “responsibility” regarding compliance
with the statute(s) of limitations applicable to the causes
of action contained within the State's Amended Complaint.
11: All policies, written, oral, or procedural, or written
form of the State regarding adherence to applicable statutes
of limitations when enforcing judgments in favor of the
in Dispute for both Plaintiffs
16 to the United States and Topic 13 to the State ask the
plaintiffs to prepare a witness to testify as to “All
facts which support each of Defendants' affirmative
defenses set forth in this case and what documents reflect or
contain such facts (if any).” (Ex. A and Ex. B).
argue that their noticed topics seek factual information
relevant to their affirmative defenses. As explained by
Defendants in their brief in opposition to the United
States' earlier motion to strike, their affirmative
defenses in these cases largely relate to the
government's conduct prior to obtaining the judgment in
(or even the filing of) the underlying Clean Water Air
action. (Filing No. 108 in the Lead Case). For example,
Defendants' waiver defense asserts that “[The
United States'] waiver arose from [its] approval of the
2010 Asset Purchase Agreement and the related sale, the [The
United States'] failure to object to the sale, and [the
United States'] ...