Henry Smith is a self-employed electrician who works in San Francisco, California. On July 10, 2011, Henry is riding a MUNI train to a Giants game at AT & T Park when an automobile driven by Reuben James runs a traffic light at an intersection and collides with the MUNI train. Henry suffers severe personal injuries and is unable to work for approximately four months after the accident. Henry files suit against Reuben James and claims a loss of earnings as part of his damages in the case. Counsel for Defendant Reuben James serves Henry’s attorney with a Request for Production of Documents including the following Request: “Please produce a copy of your state and federal income tax returns from July 1, 2007 to the present time.”
Henry’s attorney responds to the Request for Production through the following objection: “Objection, income federal and income tax returns are privileged information. Said request is further objected to on the grounds that plaintiff has produced all available documents in support of his claims of income loss.” Henry also argues that he has produced invoices, balance sheets, cancelled checks and information regarding customer accounts to document his claimed income loss as a self-employed electrician. Reuben’s attorneys argue that production of Henry’s income tax returns are the only reliable documentation of his income loss, citing Newsom v. City of Oakland (1973) 37 Cal. App. 3d 1050 in support of his argument. Defendant Reuben’s attorneys send a “meet and confer” letter to the attorneys for Plaintiff Henry in which they threaten to file a Motion to Compel with the court unless the income tax returns are produced as requested.
You are a senior associate with the attorneys representing Plaintiff Henry. Write an inter-office memorandum responding to the arguments made by Defendant Reuben and predicts the likely outcome of any Motion to Compel. The second part of your assignment is to prepare the opening paragraph of a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in opposition to the anticipated Motion to Compel to be filed by the attorneys for Defendant Reuben. Your inter-office memorandum should be approximately three to five pages in length. It is to be followed by the proposed opening paragraph of a Memorandum of Points and Authorities in opposition to an anticipated Motion to Compel by Defendant Reuben. The inter-office memorandum should be addressed to the senior partner of the law firm representing Plaintiff Henry.
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