By Eric Schweibenz
On June 8, 2011, ALJ Robert K. Rogers, Jr. issued Order No. 13C in Certain Liquid Crystal Display Devices, Including Monitors, Televisions, and Modules, and Components Thereof (Inv. No. 337-TA-741/749).  In the Order, ALJ Rogers denied Respondents Chimei Innolux Corp., Innolux Corp., and Chi Mei Optoelectronics USA, Inc.’s (collectively, “CMI”) motion to compel Complainants Thomson Licensing SAS and Thomson Licensing LLC (collectively, “Thomson”) to produce certain documents allegedly withheld by Thomson as protected attorney-client communications and attorney work product.

According to the Order, CMI argued that Thomson was improperly withholding from production several categories of documents listed on Thomson’s privilege log.  CMI stated that it had sent letters concerning the disputed privilege issues to Thomson on March 25, April 13, and April 14, 2011, and that Thomson had responded by letter on April 20 and April 26, 2011.  According to CMI, the letter from Thomson dated April 26 stated that Thomson was undertaking a review of its privilege log “to assess whether revisions are appropriate” and that Thomson expected to complete its review “over the next few weeks.”  However, on May 9, 2011, CMI filed its motion to compel stating that it “can no longer afford to wait for Thomson to conduct an internal review before deciding whether further revisions to its lists of privileged documents would … be appropriate.”

Thomson opposed CMI’s motion.  According to the Order, Thomson argued that CMI had not complied with Ground Rule 3.2, which requires a certification that “at least two business days prior to filing the motion,” the moving party made reasonable, good-faith efforts to resolve the matter.  Thomson argued that CMI’s motion contained no such certification and that in fact CMI had given Thomson no prior notice of the instant motion to compel.  Thomson further argued that CMI had not complied with Ground Rule 3.5, as CMI allegedly had not made intensive good faith efforts to resolve the discovery dispute without intervention from the ALJ.  Thomson also stated that it had made a number of revisions to its privilege log, would be producing additional documents shortly, and was amenable to addressing any specific inquiries into particular log entries.

In the Order, ALJ Rogers determined to deny CMI’s motion to compel because the motion failed to comply with Ground Rules 3.2 and 3.5.  The ALJ further stated that “[b]ecause CMI’s motion fails to comply with Ground Rules 3.2 and 3.5, I find it unnecessary to address the motion on the merits.”