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Annese v. U.S. Xpress Inc.

United States District Court, W.D. Oklahoma

July 18, 2018

ANDREA T. ANNESE, Plaintiff,
v.
U.S. XPRESS, INC. and GLENN ANDERS, Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER

          ROBIN J. CAUTHRON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

         Now before the Court is Plaintiff's Motion for Order Compelling Discovery (Dkt. No. 30). Defendant U.S. Xpress, Inc. filed a Response to Plaintiff's Motion for Order Compelling Discovery (Dkt. No. 58). The motion is now at issue.

         I. Standard

         Federal district courts enjoy broad discretion over discovery measures. Rule 26 governs the scope of discovery and its proper scope encompasses “any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the case.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1). “[T]he requested information must be nonprivileged, relevant, and proportional to the needs of the case to be discoverable.” Holick v. Burkhart, No. 16-1188-JTM-KGG, 2017 WL 3723277 at *3 (D. Kan. August 29, 2017).

         A. Work Product Doctrine

         “In federal courts, work product issues are governed, even in diversity cases, by a uniform federal standard embodied in Rule 26(b)(3).” Sinclair Oil Corp. v. Texaco, Inc., 208 F.R.D. 329, 333 (N.D. Okla. 2002). “Ordinarily, a party may not discover documents and tangible things that are prepared in anticipation of litigation or for trial by or for another party or its representative (including the other party's attorney, consultant, surety, indemnitor, insurer, or agent.)” Fed R. Civ. P. 26(b)(3)(A).

         B. Attorney-Client Privilege

         Attorney-client privilege is governed by Fed.R.Evid. 501. “Rule 501 of the Federal Rules of Evidence provides that state law supplies the rule of decision on privilege in diversity cases.” Frontier Refining, Inc. v. Gorman-Rupp Co., Inc., 136 F.3d 695, 699 ().

         Oklahoma's privilege statute, in part, provides:

B. A client has a privilege to refuse to disclose and to prevent any other person from disclosing confidential communications made for the purpose of facilitating the rendition of professional legal services to the client:
1. Between the client or a representative of the client and the client's attorney or a representative of the attorney;
2. Between the attorney and a representative of the attorney;
3. By the client or a representative of the client or the client's attorney or a representative of the attorney to an attorney or a representative of an attorney representing another party in a pending action and concerning a matter of common interest therein;
4. Between representatives of the client or between the client and a representative of the client; or 5. Among attorneys and their representatives ...

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