DFG Wine Company, LLC v. Eight Estates Wine Holdings, LLC, C.A. No. 6110-VCN (Del. Ch. Apr. 18, 2011) (Noble, V.C.)

In this brief letter opinion, the Court of Chancery, without resolving the merits of the dispute between the parties as to the proper scope of the underlying books and records action, resolved certain discovery issues and granted the plaintiff’s application for information regarding whether certain records existed and, if such records existed, the location of those records (the “Existence and Location Information”).

The plaintiff suspected that the defendant’s subsidiary (the “Subsidiary”) held certain records that the plaintiff sought in connection with the books and records action. The defendant contended that the Subsidiary’s records were not subject to the books and records action. The Court of Chancery, noting that such information would facilitate trial, granted the plaintiff’s application with respect to the Existence and Location Information. The Court of Chancery, however, refused to require the defendant to reveal the manner in which any such records were organized and stored because such information was unlikely to have any significance for the merits of the plaintiff’s claim. In addition, the Court of Chancery, noting the summary stage of the proceeding and principles of efficiency and fairness, refused to require the defendant to provide responses indicating which documents from a certain document collection were responsive to which of the plaintiff’s particular discovery requests where the plaintiff produced such document collection in a related arbitration regarding the Subsidiary.

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