Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Leblanc v. Texas Brine Co. LLC

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

March 7, 2017

LISA T. LEBLANC, et al ., Plaintiffs,
v.
TEXAS BRINE CO., LLC, et al ., Defendants.

          ORDER

          TIMOTHY D. DEGIUSTI UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.

         Before the Court is Texas Brine Company, LLC's (“Texas Brine”) Motion to Quash Subpoena Duces Tecum to Frontier International Group, LLC (“Frontier”) [Doc. No. 1]. Occidental Chemical Corporation (“Oxy”) has responded [Doc. No. 19], and Texas Brine has replied [Doc. No. 28]. Following unsuccessful attempts to resolve the discovery dispute, [1] a hearing was held on Tuesday, February 7, 2017, to address Texas Brine's Motion. Having considered the Motion, papers, related exhibits, and oral arguments, Texas Brine's Motion is GRANTED IN PART and DENIED IN PART, as set forth herein.[2]

         Factual and Procedural Background

         This action seeks to enforce a subpoena duces tecum issued in a civil action pending in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana, Leblanc. v. Texas Brine Co., LLC, Case No. 2:12-CV-2059-JCZ-MBN. Texas Brine and Oxy are co-defendants in the Louisiana action, which concerns a sinkhole located on land owned by Oxy and mined by Texas Brine. Soon after the sinkhole's first appearance on August 3, 2012, Texas Brine, through its former attorney, retained Frontier[3] to provide advice on emergency management, government and community relations, litigation settlement strategy, and media consulting. Additionally, Texas Brine retained Todd Beyer (“Beyer”) to assist Texas Brine's counsel in preparing information for dissemination to the press, elected officials, and the community regarding the company's remediation efforts. In October, 2013, Texas Brine retained Brooks Altshuler (“Altshuler”), attorney and Frontier's owner and principal, in his individual capacity to further advise the company on response and remediation efforts and to negotiate with State and local government agencies. Finally, in September, 2014, Texas Brine's current counsel retained Frontier as a consulting expert for trial preparation.

         On December 18, 2014, Texas Brine filed a third-party demand and cross-claim against Oxy seeking indemnity, or alternatively, contribution for approximately $80 million spent in responding to the sinkhole. Texas Brine amended its demand in September, 2015, stating the amount incurred had risen to $100 million. Oxy then issued a subpoena duces tecum to third-party Frontier requesting production of the following eight classes of documents related to services provided by Frontier, Beyer, and Altshuler to Texas Brine:

1. Any and all documents concerning the Napoleonville Salt Dome, in Assumption Parish, Louisiana;
2. Any and all documents concerning the sinkhole occurrence on the Napoleonville Salt Dome in Assumption Parish on or about August 2012;
3. Any and all documents concerning the events leading up to the sinkhole occurrence that occurred on the Napoleonville Salt Dome in Assumption Parish in or about 2012;
4. Any and all communications with Texas Brine Company, LLC or any employees, agents, or counsel thereof concerning the sinkhole occurrence, the response to the sinkhole occurrence, the cause(s) of the sinkhole, and any aspect of the ongoing litigation in Louisiana and Texas pertaining to the sinkhole occurrence;
5. Any and all communications with Sonny Cranch or any employee of Cranch Hardy & Associates concerning the sinkhole occurrence, the response to the sinkhole occurrence, the cause(s) of the sinkhole, and any aspect of the ongoing litigation in Louisiana and Texas pertaining to the sinkhole occurrence;
6. Any and all communications with any members of the media or public concerning the sinkhole occurrence, the response to the sinkhole occurrence, the cause(s) of the sinkhole, and any aspect of the ongoing litigation in Louisiana and Texas pertaining to the sinkhole occurrence;
7. Any and all public statements generated by or on behalf of Texas Brine Company, LLC and/or any other entity in connection with the sinkhole occurrence, the cause(s) of the sinkhole, and any aspect of the ongoing litigation in Louisiana and Texas pertaining to the sinkhole occurrence, including drafts, revisions, distribution lists, and correspondence related thereto; and
8. Any interview transcripts, video footage, newspaper clippings, online articles, or other published, printed or distributed media in your possession concerning the sinkhole occurrence, the response to the sinkhole occurrence, the cause(s) of the sinkhole, and any aspect of the ongoing litigation in Louisiana and Texas pertaining to the sinkhole occurrence.

         Subpoena [Doc. No. 1-3] at 5-6.

         Texas Brine filed its Motion on September 2, 2016, claiming attorney-client privilege and work product protection. In its Response, Oxy argues that neither privilege protects Frontier from production of documents related to the non-legal services that Frontier provided to and billed Texas Brine for, and that Frontier must provide Oxy a privilege log listing any documents withheld under either privilege.[4] In its Reply, Texas Brine contends that attorney-client ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.