United States District Court, D. Nebraska
WOODMEN OF THE WORLD LIFE INSURANCE SOCIETY, a Nebraska Fraternal Benefit Society; Plaintiff,
JOHN BRAD LIGON, and SCOTTIE D. CLARK, Defendants.
R. Zwart United States Magistrate Judge
matter is before the court on a motion for an order
overruling the defendants' objections and permitting
Plaintiff Woodmen of the World Life Insurance Society
(“Woodmen”) to serve a subpoena duces tecum on
First Heartland Capital, Inc. ("First Heartland").
(Filing No. 46). For the following reasons, the
motion will be granted in part and denied in part.
John Ligon (“Ligon”) and Scottie Clark
(“Clark”), sold life insurance and annuity
products pursuant to Recruiting Sales Manager Contracts
(“RSM” Contracts) with Plaintiff. In early 2018,
both Defendants terminated their employment relationships
with Plaintiff and joined First Heartland.
18, 2018, Woodmen filed the above-captioned action seeking
injunctive relief. Woodmen alleges that under the RSM
Contracts, Defendants agreed to the following provisions:
[T]he RSM will not, directly or indirectly, alone or in
association with others, at any time while this contract is
in force:…(b) Induce or attempt to induce any
WoodmenLife member or certificate owner to surrender, cancel,
lapse, forfeit, or otherwise terminate any WoodmenLife
insurance certificates or annuity certificates[.]
[D]ue to the position of trust and confidence in which the
RSM is placed as WoodmenLife's principal contact with the
members and certificate owners with whom the RSM has contact,
that for a period of two (2) years following termination of
this contract, the RSM will not, directly or indirectly,
alone or as an employee or contractor of any other
organization, (i) induce or attempt to induce any WoodmenLife
member or certificate owner with whom the WoodmenLife
Representative did business and had personal contact during
the term of this contract, to surrender, cancel, lapse,
forfeit, or otherwise terminate any WoodmenLife insurance
certificates or annuity certificates (ii) provide or offer to
provide any insurance product which is competitive to
Insurance products offered by WoodmenLife, to any member or
certificate owner with whom the RSM did business and had
personal contact during the term of this contract, or (iii)
induce or attempt to induce any WoodmenLife employee or sales
representative with whom the RSM actually worked and had
personal contact while employed by WoodmenLife, to terminate
their relationship with WoodmenLife, except to the extent
such inducement or solicitation is for an enterprise that is
not competitive with the business, products or services RSM
offered or provided on behalf of WoodmenLife and cannot
adversely affect WoodmenLife's relationship or volume of
business. The parties agree that the covenants contained in
this paragraph are fair and reasonable in light of all of the
facts and circumstances of the relationship between the RSM
Filing No. 1-2, at CM/ECF pp. 4-5, ¶ 8.
alleges that upon termination of their employment with
Woodmen, Defendants “instantly began violating their
RSM Contracts by soliciting and inducing Plaintiff's
members, certificate holders, representatives, and employees
to sever their relationships with Plaintiff and begin doing
business with Defendants.” (Filing No. 46, at
CM/ECF p. 1). Plaintiff seeks a court order enjoining
Defendants from continuing their alleged breach of the RSM
Contracts. (Filing No. 1).
determine to what extent Defendants have breached their RSM
Contracts and harmed Plaintiff, Plaintiff seeks certain
information and documents from closely related third-parties
who Defendants now work on behalf of; namely, First
Heartland.” (Filing No. 46, at CM/ECF p. 1).
On October 17, 2018, Woodmen served Notice upon Defendants it
intended to serve a subpoena upon First Heartland, requesting
it to produce:
[The] complete and entire personnel, contract, and
commissions file for John B. Ligon, Scottie D. Clark, Robert
Clark, John M. "Mike" Ellis, George W.
"Dinky" Crowder, and Leslie R. "Les"
Miles, as well as any payroll records, payment records,
commission statements (including the names of each individual
to whom the foregoing individuals provided services or sold
products on behalf of any First Heartland Capital, Inc.,
entity and the product sold), communications with any former
WoodmenLife customers (including, but not limited to,
documents referring to the solicitation, quotation of policy
prices, and placement of insurance with any First Heartland
Capital, Inc., entity, affiliate, or subsidiary); and all
communications regarding any of the foregoing
individuals' WoodmenLife Advantage Contract and/or its
(Filing No. 31, at CM/ECF p. 1).
October 24, 2018, both Defendants objected to the issuance of
the subpoena as to First Heartland. Although the proposed
subpoena seeks information regarding several individuals,
both Defendants object only to the extent the subpoena seeks
information about each respective Defendant himself.
(Filing No. 46, at CM/ECF pp. 8, 16.)
26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure was amended
on December 1, 2015. The scope of permissible discovery ...