Tampa Bay should turn over emails, NFS says

Published on
February 6, 2019

Even though a Florida court denied National Fish and Seafood’s subpoenas for Tampa Bay Fisheries’ information in its ongoing trade secrets case, NFS says it still has rights to the data.

NFS’s requests for information from Tampa Bay were ruled “overly broad” and “improper” by Julie S. Sneed, magistrate judge for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida, Tampa Bay said in a letter to Magistrate Judge M. Page Kelley for the U.S. District Court, District of Massachusetts in Boston, who is overseeing the trade secrets dispute

However, Tampa Bay’s letter “mischaracterizes and overstates certain aspects” of the Florida court order, and the Massachusetts court should “not take the bait,” wrote Christopher Centurelli, attorney for NFS, in a new letter to Kelley.

Tampa Bay is simply attempting to avoid its obligations to turn over materials that NFS is requesting, Centurelli wrote. 

“Tampa Bay should produce all non-privileged, relevant material from the PST archive. As previously discussed in NFS’ pending motion to compel, ‘all emails and associated emails from Ms. Scanlon and from NFS [were] removed from Tampa Bay’s server’ and placed in a PST archive containing over 34 gigabytes of data,” he argued.

Tampa Bay has not produced any internal emails regarding NFS’s former employee Kathleen Scanlon or Tampa Bay’s decision to solicit and hire her, according to NFS.

However, the Florida court determined that Tampa Bay is “entitled to disclose responsive e-mails within the PST archive subject to appropriate objections,” NFS said.

While the PST archive apparently contains emails from NFS, Tampa Bay has primarily produced only emails from Scanlon, Centurelli wrote.

“Tampa Bay should not be permitted to continue withholding relevant material from the PST archive to NFS’ prejudice in preparation of its case,” Centurelli wrote. 

In addition, Tampa Bay should produce all service tickets, scripts, and related communications concerning the isolation or deletion of emails from Tampa Bay’s servers, the NFS attorney said. 

“Tampa Bay and its software vendor, DataComm, Inc. used service tickets and scripts to sweep, collect, and eventually delete NFS- and Scanlon-related materials,” Centurelli wrote.

The Florida Court found that three deleted emails are relevant to NFS’ claims against Tampa Bay, Centurelli noted. 

“While the Florida Court quashed several of NFS’ document requests directed to DataComm, none of the quashed requests specifically overlap with the discovery requests that are the subject of NFS’ pending motion to compel,” he added. 

Contributing Editor

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