Monday, December 1, 2008

The Non-Compete Playbook: Discovery

Picking up on the Company A/Jordan James dispute, Company A successfully obtained a temporary restraining order against James. The Court ordered James not to engage in any placement work and return all Company A documents in her possession. Furthermore, the Court ordered Company A to post a $5000 bond and set the preliminary injunction for hearing in ten days. Company A requested that the Court allow for limited discovery before the injunction hearing. The Court will allow Company A to take 1 deposition and permit the service of 10 requests for production. James is also permitted the same. So what are these type of discovery devices?

(1) The Deposition: Permits a party to ask an individual questions under oath. In cases where a party is a company, the opposing party can ask the company to designate a representative or representatives to testify on certain topics. A Court reporter transcribes the testimony under oath and in some instances, the deposition is videotaped. In Texas, a party is generally limited to 6 hours of deposition time for each deponent.

(2) Request for Production: Permits a party to request production of categories of documents. This also includes electronic discovery and could include the inspection of hard drives and other sources where electronic data may be maintained.

(3) Interrogatories: A party can force the other side to answer written questions under oath.

Parties may also conduct discovery on non-party witnesses. This may take the form of a deposition, document requests, and depositions on written questions.