New York Law Journal
July 12, 2017
Mortgage Resolution Servicing, LLC v. JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A.
U.S. DISTRICT COURT
SOUTHERN DISTRICT OF NEW YORK
JPMorgan Chase Bank and others sold thousands of residential mortgages to plaintiffs. In connection with discovery limited to their tort and contract breach claims, plaintiffs sought compelled compliance with their subpoena to depose Lance—an employee of nonparty Nationwide Title Clearing Inc. (NTC), which allegedly prepared and filed on defendants’ behalf lien releases or mortgages actually owned by plaintiffs—who refused to answer certain questions on the basis that they called for disclosure of NTC’s trade secrets. The court partly granted plaintiffs’ motion to compel, holding that even if Lance’s testimony includes trade secrets, the trade secret privilege does not bar their disclosure because the information was relevant and necessary to plaintiffs’ case. Plaintiffs had argued that “it was the lien releases and various documents signed by Chase employees as well as NTC employees that caused harm to [them].” Further, Plaintiffs are not NTC’s competitors, and a protective order already in place in the instant litigation will allow NTC and Lance to protect any truly confidential information from disclosure to entities other that the attorneys in this case.