Zuffa responds to Plaintiffs’ Emergency Motion to Compel Documents in Antitrust Lawsuit

July 16, 2017

Zuffa has filed its response for Plaintiffs Emergency Motion to Compel Documents as the fact discovery nears an end.  The Defendants argue in part that the Plaintiffs’ motion is moot as Zuffa has provided the Plaintiffs with the documents it requests.

In its opposition brief, Zuffa argues that it has worked with Plaintiffs in providing discovery even accommodating some of Plaintiffs requests.  It also states that its privilege log complies with the appropriate rules.

Zuffa argued that due to the fact that its senior executives in its legal department communicate with outside counsel and internal clients there should be no surprise that the company withheld and logged many documents on the basis of attorney-client privilege and attorney work product.  Zuffa maintains it has correctly identified its privilege determinations on its log and has not waived privileged as claimed by Plaintiffs.  Moreover, Zuffa argues that the case cited by Plaintiffs relying on this waiver of privilege due to a purported insufficient privilege log does not support their contention.

Zuffa contends that it provided Plaintiffs with its log in April 2017, two months after “substantially” completing production to Plaintiffs’ Second Request for Production in February 2017.  It notes that upon a meet and confer with Plaintiffs it revised its log on a little over two weeks after producing it.  Plaintiffs focused on “documents pertaining to acquisitions and contract negotiations with fighters.”

Overall, the response brief takes on the tone that it has worked with Plaintiffs with producing documents to the extent they are not protected by the attorney-client privilege or attorney work-product.  Also, they have complied with the rules of producing a privilege log and they have not waived their right.

Zuffa's Response to Emergency Motion by JASONCRUZ206 on Scribd

Payout Perspective:

In motions to compel documents, the party that is being accused of withholding documents on not playing by the rules usually paints themselves as the reasonable party complying with requests and working with the other side.  Here, Zuffa argues that it has been a willing participant in the discovery process and has taken initiative in reviewing documents to determine whether to send to Plaintiffs.  But it has a right to withhold documents based on privilege.  As a starting point, it argues that the issue of compelling documents is moot because “Zuffa has not completed the process that the parties agreed would fully address Plaintiffs’ concerns.”  We will see if Plaintiffs agree.  Usually, in discovery fights, the party seeking documents, gets some but not all of what they seek.  The parties appear to be continuing to work on the issue but with a pending deadline you may look for Plaintiffs to press this issue.  MMA Payout will keep you posted.

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