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Domain Vault LLC v. EClinicalWorks LLC

United States District Court, D. Colorado

July 28, 2015

DOMAIN VAULT LLC, Plaintiff,
v.
ECLINICALWORKS LLC, Defendant.

ORDER OVERRULING PLAINTIFF’S RULE 72(A) OBJECTIONS

WILLIAM J. MARTÍNEZ, UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE

Before the Court are:

1. Domain Vault’s Rule 72(a) objection (ECF No. 56) to U.S. Magistrate Judge Craig B. Shaffer’s June 22, 2015 minute order (“June 22 Order”) (ECF No. 44); and
2. Domain Vault’s Rule 72(a) objection (ECF No. 62) to Judge Shaffer’s July 2, 2015 order to show cause (“July 2 Order”) (ECF No. 53).

For the reasons explained below, both objections are overruled.

I. LEGAL STANDARD

When reviewing an objection to a magistrate judge’s non-dispositive ruling, the Court must adopt the ruling unless it finds that the ruling is “clearly erroneous or contrary to law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 72(a); 28 U.S.C. § 636(b)(1)(A); Hutchinson v. Pfeil, 105 F.3d 562, 566 (10th Cir. 1997); Ariza v. U.S. West Commc’ns, Inc., 167 F.R.D. 131, 133 (D. Colo. 1996). The clearly erroneous standard “requires that the reviewing court affirm unless it on the entire evidence is left with the definite and firm conviction that a mistake has been committed.” Ocelot Oil Corp. v. Sparrow Indus., 847 F.2d 1458, 1464 (10th Cir. 1988). The “contrary to law” standard permits “plenary review as to matters of law, ” 12 Charles Alan Wright et al., Federal Practice & Procedure § 3069 (2d ed., Apr. 2015 update), but the Court will set aside a Magistrate Judge’s order only if it applied the wrong legal standard or applied the appropriate legal standard incorrectly, see Wyoming v. U.S. Dep’t of Agric., 239 F.Supp.2d 1219, 1236 (D. Wyo. 2002).

II. ANALYSIS

A. Judge Shaffer’s June 22 Order (ECF No. 44)

On May 28, 2015, eClinicalWorks served a subpoena on a third party seeking information about Domain Vault’s doings. (ECF No. 32-1.) On June 11, 2015, Domain Vault moved to quash the subpoena, arguing among other things that the subpoenaed material could reveal Domain Vault’s trade secrets. (ECF No. 32.) On June 22, 2015, Judge Shaffer held a telephonic status conference in which he explained to Domain Vault’s counsel that a protective order would likely be the most appropriate solution to Domain Vault’s concerns, rather than outright quashing the subpoena. (ECF No. 67 at 16–17.) Judge Shaffer then announced the following order, specifically addressing Domain Vault’s counsel, Mr. Andrew Powell:

You must either execute a protective order with the defendant that resolves in all respects your motion to quash. If that protective order is not filed with this court by 4:00 tomorrow and if that motion for protective order is not accompanied by your motion to withdraw the motion to quash, then I will conclude, Mr. Powell, that you are still serious about your motion to quash. And I will direct my staff to set this mat-I will set your motion to quash for a hearing here in the United States District Court next week, and counsel of record will be required to be physically present in my courtroom to argue their respective positions. So those are your options. If you shall-
MR. POWELL: I-
THE COURT: Mr. Powell, if you feel strongly about your motion to quash, I respect your right to feel strongly about your motion to quash. And you can come to my courtroom next week and demonstrate ...

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