U.S. Magistrate Judge Janis van Meerveld ICS Media Database
NEW ORLEANS — A company has 10 days to produce documents in its attempt to have a motion to quash a subpoena thrown out.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Janis van Meerveld ruled on the case for the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisianam, denying the motion on Dec. 18.
Jolie Design & Décor Inc. (JDD) and Jolie Home LLC (JHL) filed the motion to quash a subpoena in hopes of escaping the obligation to submit documents to Annie Sloan Interiors Inc., who sued the defendants and submitted the subpoena for certain documents concerning JHL's communications with CounterTake LLC, a company that helped JHL curate content such as a brand video and tutorials.
“Because the subpoena seeks relevant documents that will not be burdensome for CounterTake to produce and because the confidentiality concerns raised by the defendants can be addressed by use of the attorneys’ eyes only designation procedure provided by the protective order in this case, the motion to quash is denied,” the court said. It added that the defendants can impose confidentiality and redact certain information such as pricing from the invoices and purchase orders. Still, the court made it clear the documents would need to be given to ASI within 10 days as it cancelled an oral argument that was set for Dec. 19.
The issue between the parties dates back to 2010. At that time, ASI was a company that designed and manufactured paints and related products via Anne Sloan and Chalk Paint. In 2010, JDD became ASI’s exclusive distributor for Chalk Paint. Unfortunately, the business relationship didn’t work out and “deteriorated over time,” according to the lawsuit. ASI responded and sued in November 2017, requesting a declaration that the distributorship agreement with JDD was terminable upon reasonable notice. The district court agreed and granted ASI summary judgement on May 4. ASI in turn informed JDD that the agreement would end on Nov. 5, 2018.
In June 2018, the founder of JDD created JHL, which ASI speculated would directly compete with ASI. ASI then filed a motion for preliminary injunction in July 2018, requesting the court issue an order that would ban the defendants from conducting certain activities in violation of the agreement, or that would infringe on ASI’s trademark rights, and prevent JDD from sharing ASI’s business relationships and confidential details with JHL. The court granted the motion. Now, ASI has served JHL with a subpoena via CounterTake, which the court has so far agreed to.