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Linda Gavin v. Liberty Mutual Group Inc.

August 6, 2012

LINDA GAVIN
v.
LIBERTY MUTUAL GROUP INC.



The opinion of the court was delivered by: Landya McCafferty United States Magistrate Judge

ORDER

Linda Gavin has sued her former employer, Liberty Mutual Group, Inc. ("Liberty Mutual"), in three counts, asserting claims for constructive discharge (Count I), wrongful termination (Count II), and enhanced compensatory damages (Count III). Before the court is Gavin's motion to compel: (1) production of the documents reviewed by a former Liberty Mutual employee before her deposition; (2) production of a privilege log; and (3) further deposition testimony from the former employee concerning her discussions with counsel before and during her deposition. Liberty Mutual objects. For the reasons that follow, Gavin's motion to compel is granted in part and denied in part.

Background

This dispute arises out of the April 17, 2012, deposition taken by Gavin from Janna Pasquini Mullane. At the time of the events giving rise to Gavin's claims, Mullane worked in human resources at Liberty Mutual. At the time of her deposition, Mullane was no longer employed by Liberty Mutual.

In March of 2012, Mullane executed a document dated February 29, 2012, that bears the heading "Confirmation of Engagement and Fee Agreement" and was provided to her by Debra Weiss Ford of Jackson Lewis, which also represents Liberty Mutual in this action. That Agreement provides, in pertinent part:

We are pleased that you have decided to retain Jackson Lewis . . . for legal services in connection with your acting as a witness on behalf of Liberty Mutual Group Inc. . . . You will not be responsible for any legal fees or costs with regard to our representation of you in this matter. All fees and costs in connection with our representation of you in matters related to Liberty Mutual Group Inc. will be paid by Liberty Mutual Group Inc. . . . .

As we discussed, we will represent [Liberty Mutual] in connection with the claims asserted by Linda Gavin . . . Hoffman Decl., Ex. A (doc. no. 22-2), at 1.

At Mullane's deposition, the following relevant exchanges took place:

Q. As to the documents that you reviewed yesterday [in preparation for the deposition], can you please tell me what, if any, documents you remember looking at?

A. I don't know specifically.

Q. Give me the best description you can from your recollection of two days ago.

A. There were some emails, there were some memos, and there were some legal documents.

Q. Do you remember what the legal documents were?

A. No. . . . .

Q. All right. Now, when you say you met with lawyers [before the deposition], what lawyers did you meet with?

A. Josh, Scott, Doug, and Kim. . . . .

Q. And when did that occur?

A. Yesterday. . . . .

Q. (By Mr. Lyons) Tell me exactly what was said when you met with the lawyers, please.

MR. HOFFMAN: Objection.

Don't Answer ...


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