Defense Counsel Journal

IADC Amicus Briefs - Volume 87, Number 4

Volume 87, No. 4

January 19, 2021

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The IADC amicus curiae program has been active in recent months. The following briefs were filed by the IADC since the last Defense Counsel Journal issue: 

Win on Discovery Proportionality: Suryani v. Watermark Harvard Square AL LLC (10/2/2020)

On Friday, October 2, 2020, the Supreme Court of Colorado overturned a trial court order which compelled a long-term care provider to produce medical records of patients other than those of the deceased resident whose heirs had filed the personal injury/malpractice lawsuit. The IADC submitted an amicus brief arguing that the trial court's order failed to perform the required analysis of the proportionality of the discovery sought, as required by the recently amended Colorado's Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1). The CO Supreme Court reversed and remanded with direction to the trial judge to "make specific findings regarding" the 26(b)(1) proportionality factors.

This ruling is important because it was the first time the Court had addressed the 2015 amendments to Rule 26 of the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure which made changes regarding proportionality along the lines of the 2015 FRCP amendments and required courts to analyze proportionality as a threshold issue. We would like to thank Craig May and Meghan Berglind of Wheeler Trigg O'Donnell LLP who worked with us on the brief for their excellent job. The case is Suryani v. Watermark Harvard Square AL LLC, Supreme Court Case No: 2020SA234.

To read the order of the court, click here.


Filing on FLSA Abuse: Scott v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc. (10/1/2020)

On Thursday, October 1, 2020, IADC and DRI submitted a joint amicus brief to the United States Supreme Court seeking review of the Second Circuit's expansive FLSA ruling in Scott v. Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc., 954 F.3d 502 (2d Cir. 2020). The Second Circuit had relaxed the standard for a collective action under the FLSA, holding that plaintiffs are "similarly situated" and may proceed collectively "to the extent they share a similar issue of law or fact material to the disposition of their FLSA claims." Id. at 516. Other circuits apply a more rigorous analysis for collective actions. The lack of a uniform standard across the circuits for what makes plaintiffs "similarly situated" under FLSA has led to forum shopping and other ills which burden employers and the courts. Petitioners ask the Court to accept certiorari in order to arrive at a uniform standard consistent with the FLSA's goals.

To read the brief filed, click here.


IADC Files Amicus Brief in Colorado Supreme Court Urging Substantive Application of Proportionality Requirement Under Amended Rule 26 (8/12/2020)

In Re Suranyi v. Watermark Harvard Square AL LLC, Case No: 2020SA234

The IADC filed an amicus brief in the Colorado Supreme Court opposing a district court’s discovery order compelling a long-term care provider to produce confidential and burdensome third-party medical records and family information. The Colorado Supreme Court agreed to hear a direct appeal of the order. IADC’s brief focused on the 2015 amendments to Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 26, which limited the scope of permissible discovery and required courts to analyze proportionality as a threshold issue. After laying out the significance of the Rule 26 changes, the brief argued that the district court failed to consider proportionality and perform the required analysis. It urged the Supreme Court to quash the discovery order and make a clear statement about application of proportionality. Health care groups filed a separate amicus brief on the privacy issues. Thank you to Craig May and Meghan Berglind of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell LLP for a great brief.

For information on the IADC's amicus brief program and to view past briefs, please visit the Amicus Briefs page on the IADC website.