United States District Court, D. Rhode Island
WAI FENG TRADING CO., LTD. and EFF MANUFACTURING CO., LTD., Plaintiffs,
QUICK FITTING, INC., Defendant. QUICK FITTING, INC., Plaintiff,
WAI FENG TRADING CO., LTD., ET AL., Defendants.
WILLIAM E. SMITH, Chief Judge.
the Court is an Objection to Magistrate Judge Patricia A.
Sullivan's June 14, 2016 Memorandum and Order Concerning
Discovery Issues ("Objection") (ECF No. 157) filed
by Quick Fitting, Inc. ("Quick Fitting") . Wai Feng
Trading Co., Ltd., EFF Manufactory Co., Ltd., Eastern Foundry
& Fitting, Inc., Eastern Foundry and Fitting, LLC, Wai
Mao Co., Ltd, and Andrew Yung (collectively, the "Wai
Feng parties") filed an Opposition (ECF No. 159) and
Quick Fitting filed a Reply (ECF No. 161). For the reasons
that follow, Quick Fitting's Objection is DENIED.
district court may not disturb a magistrate judge's
decision on a non-dispositive motion unless it is
"clearly erroneous or contrary to law." United
States v. Raddatz, 447 U.S. 667, 673 (1980) . "In
conducting this review, the district court must refrain from
second guessing the magistrate judge's pre-trial
discovery rulings." Harvard Pilgrim Health Care of
New England v. Thompson, 318 F.Supp.2d 1, 6 (D.R.I.
2004) (citing Mutual Fire, Marine & Inland Ins. Co.
v. Jenckes Mach. Co., No. 85-0586, 1986 WL 9717, at *1
(D.R.I. Feb. 19, 1986)). Yet this is precisely what Quick
Fitting asks the Court to do in its Objection. While Quick
Fitting may disagree with the judgment calls Magistrate Judge
Sullivan made on its discovery motions, it points to no
errors that rise to the level of "clearly
Judge Sullivan has had extensive involvement in the more than
three-year tortuous discovery process in these cases. As she
noted in her Memorandum and Order, "'everything has
to come to an end, some time, ' so with the fact
discovery phase for these cases." (Mem. and Order 2, ECF
No. 150 (quoting L. Frank Baum, The Marvelous Land of
Oz (1904), available at
fOz/TheScarecrowTakesTimetoThinkpl.html).) Quick Fitting
objects to the following aspects of her decision:
1. the denial of Quick Fitting's motion to compel the
production of a discrete number of late-produced emails and
their attachments in their native or near-native, electronic
formats so as to enable Quick Fitting's full and
meaningful use of those documents;
2. the denial of Quick Fitting's motion to compel the
production of physical pieces of molds and tooling the Yungs
had represented to the Court they would produce in order to
stave off an order concerning their non-production early in
the litigation; and,
3. the quashing of a telephonic deposition of a third-party
product-certifying agency known as IAPMO, the relevance of
which was apparent only upon receipt of documents
produced by the Yungs nine days before the close of
discovery that directly contradict the Yungs' sworn
(Quick Fitting's Obj. 2, ECF No. 157 (emphases in
first issue, Magistrate Judge Sullivan noted that Quick
Fitting's discovery request did not "specify the
form or forms in which electronically stored information is
to be produced, " as allowed under the Federal Rules of
Civil Procedure. (Mem. and Order 10-11, ECF No. 150 (quoting
Fed.R.Civ.P. 34(b)).) Given that, and the fact that Quick
Fitting's justification for needing the documents in
native format was "tepid, " she determined that
searchable PDFs - "the same format that had been
acceptable for three and [a] half years" - were
generally sufficient. (Id. at 11, 12.) This decision
was not clearly erroneous.
respect to the second issue - production of various molds for
inspection - Magistrate Judge Sullivan determined that
"Quick Fitting's lack of diligence in scheduling the
inspection warrants denial of its motion to compel."
(Id. at 14.) While Quick Fitting may disagree with
this characterization of its conduct, it is far from clearly
the deposition of IAPMO Research & Testing, Inc.
("IAMPO"), Magistrate Judge Sullivan noted that
Quick Fitting had already scheduled and cancelled this
deposition several times prior to the close of discovery.
(Id. at 9.) She determined that the small number of
"newly produced documents make it no more or less likely
that the product list sent to IAMPO in May 2013 was based on
the theft of Quick Fitting's intellectual property"
and that "Quick Fitting seems to be trying to sneak in a
deposition after the close of fact discovery that it could
have completed years ago." (Id. at 10.) Once
again, Quick Fitting's disagreement with Magistrate Judge
Sullivan's interpretation of its conduct does not make
her decision clearly erroneous.
foregoing reasons, Quick Fitting's Objection (ECF No.
157) is DENIED.