APPEAL FROM THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT FOR THE DISTRICT OF MASSACHUSETTS. Hon. Nathaniel M. Gorton, U.S. District Judge.
Robert J. Guite and Sheppard, Mullin, Richter & Hampton LLP on brief for appellant Cascade Yarns, Inc.
Robert J. Kaler, and Holland & Knight, LLP on brief for appellee Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufacturers Institute.
Before Lynch, Chief Judge, Howard and Kayatta, Circuit Judges.
LYNCH, Chief Judge.
This appeal arises from a discovery dispute in litigation between two yarn manufacturers, Cascade Yarns, Inc. (" Cascade" ) and Knitting Fever, Inc. (" KFI" ), in the Western District of Washington. Cascade, the plaintiff in the Washington action, accused KFI of making false representations about the cashmere content of its yarns.
The recipient of the discovery request at issue in this case, Cashmere and Camel Hair Manufactures Institute (" CCMI" ), is a nonprofit corporation that offers confidential tests of the fiber content of cashmere samples to its members, as well as retailers and suppliers of cashmere and camel hair goods. CCMI is not a party to the Washington action, but Cascade subpoenaed documents from CCMI in Massachusetts related to its confidential fiber testing program and possible correspondence with KFI. Not satisfied with the
redacted documents CCMI had produced in response to the subpoena, Cascade moved to enforce the subpoena in Massachusetts federal district court, arguing that the documents it sought from CCMI were relevant to its claims against KFI. A magistrate judge denied Cascade's motion to compel, and the district court affirmed the magistrate judge's order. Though faced with a formidable abuse of discretion standard of review and the dismissal of all of its claims in the Washington case, Cascade, undaunted, has appealed. Finding there was no abuse of discretion in the denial of this discovery, we affirm.
On May 24, 2010, Cascade sued KFI in federal district court in Washington asserting, inter alia, unfair competition and RICO claims based on KFI's alleged mislabeling of the cashmere content of some of its yarns. On May 18, 2011, Cascade served a subpoena on CCMI seeking two categories of documents: (1) CCMI's correspondence with KFI or its agents; and (2) " [a]ll documents related to yarn distributed by [KFI], such as [a] request for fiber testing or results of such a test." The subpoena listed twelve brand names under which KFI yarns are sold but indicated that the request was not limited only to those brands.
CCMI objected to the subpoena but produced 101 documents on August 19, 2011, which it had redacted and designated as " highly confidential" as permitted by a Stipulated Protective Order in the Washington action. The documents included eleven requests for fiber-content testing of yarn samples in 2006 and responses thereto; CCMI had redacted the names of the parties making those testing requests.
In a letter to CCMI's counsel, Cascade's counsel disagreed that the documents were " highly confidential" and sought production of additional documents, including correspondence between CCMI and KFI. CCMI refused to waive the confidentiality of the documents it had produced and objected to the balance of Cascade's subpoena as " overbroad, unduly burdensome, and [requiring CCMI] to search through ...