HURRICANE IKE UPDATE: TWO MANDAMUS PROCEEDINGS FILED FOR REVIEW OF ORDER COMPELLING PRODUCTION OF ALL CORPORATE EMAILS

March 6, 2012

On February 15th, Cypress Texas Lloyds filed two petitions for writ of mandamus requesting the Fourteenth Court of Appeals to determine whether the 268th District Court in Fort Bend County abused its discretion by compelling Cypress Texas Lloyds to produce all its non-privileged corporate e-mails, regardless of their subject matter, for more than a three-year period. In Joffrion v. Cypress Texas Lloyds, No. 09-DCV-176764, and Hamilton v. Cypress Texas Lloyds, No. 10-DCV-177586, Judge Brady Elliott granted Plaintiffs’ motions to compel production of every non-privileged corporate e-mail to and from every one of its employees during a three-year, four-month timeframe, without regard to the subject matter of those e-mails and without tailoring the discovery to matters involved in the hurricane cases at issue.

In its petitions for writ of mandamus, Cypress Texas Lloyds highlighted the impermissibly overly broad nature of the Court’s order, stating that the discovery order requires Cypress Texas Lloyds to produce vast numbers of e-mails that have no conceivable bearing on the issues in either case.  Cypress Texas Lloyds also points out that the trial court lacked authority to compel the global production of e-mails because neither Plaintiff propounded a discovery request for all e-mails of all Cypress Texas employees, yet the trial court compelled their production anyway.  Cypress Texas argues it has no adequate remedy by appeal to remedy the extreme burden and expense associated with compiling, reviewing, and producing the enormous volume of e-mails generated by its employees during the period encompassed by the trial court’s order. Therefore, Cypress Texas requests that the Fourteenth Court of Appeals grant its petition for writ of mandamus and vacate the trial court’s discovery orders.

Cypress Texas is represented by Warren W. Harris of Bracewell & Giuliani and by Thomas  Fountain of Fountain  &  Associates.   The  Mostyn  Law  Firm  represents  Plaintiffs  in  both  underlying  state  court actions.