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Barnes v. CUS Nashville, LLC (M.D. Tenn.) (June 3, 2010)

Barnes v. CUS Nashville, LLC (M.D. Tenn.) (June 3, 2010)

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In the context of a Facebook discovery dispute between the parties, the magistrate judge offers to create a Facebook page, specifically for the purposes of reviewing disputed discovery material (from Facebook) in camera.
In the context of a Facebook discovery dispute between the parties, the magistrate judge offers to create a Facebook page, specifically for the purposes of reviewing disputed discovery material (from Facebook) in camera.

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Published by: Venkat Balasubramani on Jun 09, 2010
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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11/12/2010

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1IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURTFOR THE MIDDLE DISTRICT OF TENNESSEENASHVILLE DIVISIONBRITTANY BARNES,))Plaintiff,))Case No. 3:09-cv-00764v.)Judge Nixon/Brown)CUS NASHVILLE, LLC)
Jury Demand
d/b/a COYOTE UGLY SALOON,))Defendant.))O R D E RPresently pending before the Magistrate Judge is Defendant’s Motion to Compel ESI andfor Continuance of Trial (Docket Entry 52), to which Plaintiff has filed a Response. (DocketEntry 58). The parties also participated in telephone conferences with the Magistrate Judge onMay 25, 2010 and June 1, 2010 to discuss these issues. For the reasons set forth below,Defendant’s Motion is
GRANTED in part
and
DENIED in part
. The trial will be
CONTINUED
until August 17, 2010. The final pre-trial conference with Judge Nixon isscheduled for Wednesday, August 4, 2010 at 10:00 am. Judge Nixon will issue a separate ordersetting forth his requirements for the pre-trial conference. Limited Discovery is available to bothparties as set forth below. Also pending before the Magistrate Judge is Plaintiff’s Motion forLeave to File Sur-reply to Defendant’s Motion to Continue Trial (Docket Entry 69). Plaintiff’sMotion is
GRANTED
.In light of the protracted arguments about Plaintiff’s and other witnesses’ Facebook 
Case 3:09-cv-00764 Document 71 Filed 06/03/10 Page 1 of 3 PageID #: 404
 
2photos and emails, which are only now being resolved, the Magistrate Judge believes it isnecessary to grant Defendant’s motion to continue. The Magistrate Judge does not find a delayof ninety (90) days necessary, however. Discovery is reopened to both parties until Friday, July16, 2010, with the exception that expert discovery is not reopened absent a showing that theFacebook controversy impaired that process.Cooperation on the part of both parties could have prevented this delay. The Defendant’smishandling of the Facebook subpoena was the cause of a major delay. Plaintiff’s counsel couldhave helped resolve the matter by clearing up the issue of the various witnesses, who are friendsof the Plaintiff, to produce the various photos on Facebook. Their resistance does raise thespecter with the defendant that there is something there they want to hide. Clearly the issue of who took the pictures of the Plaintiff and her friends dancing on the bar is highly relevant, andPlaintiff is in the best position to quickly resolve this. The failure to cooperate by both counselhas lead to this unfortunate delay. The Magistrate Judge strongly suggests that the parties avoidadditional prolonged disputes over Facebook materials. In addition, the Magistrate Judgestrongly suggests that telephone depositions be considered on non-party witnesses. If additionaldepositions of the Plaintiff are needed, they will likely need to take place in Nashville.In order to try to expedite further discovery regarding the photographs, their captions,and comments, the Magistrate Judge is willing to create a Facebook account. If Julie Knudsenand Michael Vann will accept the Magistrate Judge as a “friend” on Facebook for the solepurpose of reviewing photographs and related comments
in camera
, he will promptly review anddisseminate any relevant information to the parties. The Magistrate Judge will then close thisFacebook account. If this option is chosen, Plaintiff is required to notify the Magistrate Judge’s
Case 3:09-cv-00764 Document 71 Filed 06/03/10 Page 2 of 3 PageID #: 405

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