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The Hurry Family Revocable Trust v. Frankel

United States District Court, M.D. Florida, Tampa Division

January 14, 2020

THE HURRY FAMILY REVOCABLE TRUST, et al., Plaintiffs,
v.
CHRISTOPHER FRANKEL, Defendant.

          ORDER

          HONORABLE CHRISTOPHER P. TUTTE, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE

         Before the Court are the Plaintiffs' Notice of Motion to Compel Vision Financial Market LLC's Compliance with Subpoena (Doc. 1) and Vision Financial Markets LLC's (Vision) response in opposition (Doc. 18). The Court held a hearing on the matter on January 8, 2020. For the reasons discussed below, the Plaintiffs' motion is granted.

         I.

         This matter stems from an action brought in November 2018 by Plaintiff the Hurry Family Revocable Trust and others (collectively, Hurry) against Defendant Christopher Frankel. Hurry Family Revocable Trust v. Frankel, No. 8:19-cv-2869-T-33CPT (M.D. Fla.). In that underlying action, Hurry alleges that Frankel, a former employee, unlawfully misappropriated and used Hurry's confidential information and trade secrets. Id. at (Doc. 1).

         In January 2019, the Court entered a Case Management Scheduling Order (CSMO) establishing various deadlines, including a discovery deadline of July 26, 2019. Id. at (Doc. 29). In May 2019, the Court granted Hurry's request to extend that deadline to August 9, 2020. Id. at (Docs. 62, 65). In orders entered on June 24, 2019, and August 20, 2019, however, the Court emphasized that it was disinclined to extend this deadline any further. Id. at (Docs. 84, 111).

         In the meantime, on June 7, 2019, Hurry served a third-party subpoena on Vision seeking certain documents. (Doc. 4, Exh. 2). Roughly two weeks later, Frankel moved in the underlying action to quash that subpoena, arguing, inter alia, that the subpoena was overbroad. Hurry Family Revocable Trust, No. 8:19-cv-2869-T-33CPT at (Doc. 76). In a letter sent to Hurry in late June 2019, Vision similarly objected to the breadth of the subpoena. (Doc. 4, Exh. 3).[1]

         In July 2019, the Court conducted a hearing in the underlying action on Frankel's motion to quash. Following that hearing, consistent with the Court's guidance, Hurry and Frankel agreed to limit the scope of the Vision subpoena. That agreement was formalized in a notice filed with the Court on July 25, 2019, and mooted Frankel's motion to quash. Hurry Family Revocable Trust, No. 8:19-cv-2869-T-33CPT at (Docs. 101, 102).

         Pursuant to the Court's instructions, id. at (Doc. 101 at 2), Hurry thereafter emailed Vision on July 29, 2019, notifying Vision of the amended scope of the subpoena (Doc. 4, Exh. 4). In response, Vision's counsel emailed Hurry's counsel on August 8, 2019, stating:

Upon receiving the modified request from you last week I asked the client to redo the search, which they did last week. Though I am on vacation now I have reviewed the results and am working with others to prepare the emails for production. This will occur next week.

Id. at Exh. 5 (emphasis added).

         Notwithstanding this representation, Vision did not send the subpoenaed documents to Hurry the following week. As a result, Hurry emailed Vision on August 20 and August 22, 2019, seeking a status on the matter. Id. at Exh. 6. Vision replied on August 22, advising that it would provide a “response” to Hurry the ensuing week. Id. at Exh. 7. Five days later, Vision notified Hurry that it did “not plan on producing the [requested] documents.” Id. at Exh. 8. When Hurry sought to confer with Vision several weeks later regarding the subpoena, Vision stated that it “d[id] not intend to discuss th[e] matter” with Hurry. Id. at Exh. 9.[2]

         Soon thereafter, Hurry filed a motion to compel Vision's compliance with the subpoena in the District of Connecticut, which-as represented at the hearing-is where Vision is headquartered and where it was served with the subpoena. In October 2019, however, Hurry dismissed that action and re-filed it in the Southern District of New York, after realizing that compliance with the subpoena was required in that venue. (Doc. 3 at 3; Doc. 18 at 5). Upon the parties' stipulation, the matter was subsequently transferred to this district in November 2019. (Doc. 11). Vision thereafter filed its response to Hurry's motion in mid-December 2019. (Doc. 18).

         II.

         Local Rule 4.15 provides that “[n]o stipulation or agreement between any parties or their attorneys, the existence of which is not conceded, in relation to any aspect of any pending case, will be considered by the Court unless the same is made before the Court and noted in the record or is reduced to writing and subscribed by ...


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