In Lutzeier v. Citigroup Inc., Missouri District Judge Ronnie I. White ruled on two motions to compel discovery by the plaintiff, addressing (among other things) disagreement on search terms to be used by the defendant and lack of organization and labeling of the defendant’s production to date.
In Allison v. Clos-ette Too, LLC, New York Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, among other motions considered, denied the plaintiff’s motion to compel the defendants’ production of electronically stored information (ESI) in native format after the plaintiff had previously requested (and received) ESI from the defendants without specifying the desired document format.
In Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Westport Insurance Corp., Michigan Magistrate Judge Phillip J. Green awarded some (but not all) of the attorney fees requested by the defendant after the plaintiff “made repeated promises to produce the subject documents”, but “failed to do so for nearly three months after the deadline for responding to Westport's Rule 34 request” and “compliance was obtained only after Westport filed its motion to compel”.
In Federico et al. v. Lincoln Military Housing LLC, et al., Virginia Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller, concluding that the defendants had not established that the plaintiffs had acted in bad faith when failing to meet production deadlines, declined to impose “any further sanction against Plaintiffs beyond the $29,000 expense associated with their expert's production of the Facebook records”, except for a portion of the reasonable attorney's fees associated with the original motion to compel.
In Ablan v. Bank of America, Illinois Magistrate Judge Daniel G. Martin recommended that the defendant’s Motion for Sanctions should be granted in part and denied in part, recommending that the plaintiffs be barred from using any new information at summary judgment or at trial that was contained on eight CD-ROMs produced late, but recommending no sanctions for failing to produce or make available documents held by the plaintiff’s outside vendor.
In James v. National Financial LLC, Delaware Vice Chancellor Laster granted the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions after determining that the defendant’s “discovery misconduct calls for serious measures”. However, the plaintiff’s request for a default judgment was not granted, but lesser sanctions that included attorneys’ fees and a ruling that the lack of information contained in the requested document resulted in an admission.
As we noted yesterday, Wednesday and Tuesday, eDiscoveryDaily published 93 posts related to eDiscovery case decisions and activities over the past year, covering 68 unique cases! Yesterday, we looked back at cases related to privilege and inadvertent disclosures, requests for social media, cases involving technology assisted review and the case of the year – the ubiquitous Apple v. Samsung dispute. Today, let’s take a look back at cases related to sanctions and spoliation.
As we noted yesterday, eDiscoveryDaily published 93 posts related to eDiscovery case decisions and activities over the past year, covering 68 unique cases! Yesterday, we looked back at cases related to admissibility and proportionality as well as cases involving discovery on discovery. Today, let’s take a look back at cases related to eDiscovery cost sharing and reimbursement, fee disputes and production format disputes.
It’s time for our annual review of eDiscovery case law! We had more than our share of sanctions granted and denied, as well as disputes over admissibility of electronically stored information (ESI), eDiscovery cost reimbursement, and production formats, even disputes regarding eDiscovery fees. So, as we did last year and the year before that and also the year before that, let’s take a look back at 2014!
In Armstrong Pump, Inc. v. Hartman, New York Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott granted in part the defendant’s motion to compel discovery responses and fashioned a “new and simpler approach” to discovery, identifying thirteen search terms/phrases for the plaintiff to use when searching its document collection.
In Venture Corp. Ltd. v. Barrett, California Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal ordered the plaintiffs to “(1) either organize and label each document it has produced or it shall provide custodial and other organizational information along the lines outlined above and (2) produce load files for its production containing searchable text and metadata” in order to conform to Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Procedure and meet their obligation.
In Pero v. Norfolk Southern Railway, Co., Tennessee Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. granted the plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery of a video declining to require the plaintiff to view the video at the defendant’s counsel’s office or obtain a license for the proprietary viewing software, ordering the defendant instead to either produce a laptop with the video loaded on it or to reimburse the plaintiff for the cost of a software license.
In Peterson v. Matlock, New Jersey Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert denied the plaintiffs motion to compel defendants to produce the plaintiff's electronically stored medical records in “native readable format” after the defendants produced the records in PDF format, agreeing that the defendants had demonstrated that they would suffer an undue burden in complying with the plaintiff's request.
In Kuznyetsov v. West Penn Allegheny Health Sys., Pennsylvania Senior District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose upheld the Clerk of Courts issuance of Taxation of Costs for $60,890.97 in favor of the defendants and against the named the plaintiffs, including costs for “scanning and conversion of native files to the agreed-upon format for production of ESI”.
Thanks to the Google Alerts that I set up to send me new stories related to eDiscovery, I found an interesting blog post from an attorney that appears to shed light on an archival bug within Twitter that could affect people who may want to retrieve Twitter archival data for eDiscovery purposes.
In Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems., California Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal granted the plaintiff’s motion ordering the defendant to produce relevant emails from its eight custodians, even though the plaintiff was unable to provide its own archival emails.
If an electronic document is a “house” for information, then metadata could be considered the “deed” to that house. There is far more to explaining a house than simply the number of stories and the color of trim. It is the data that isn’t apparent to the naked eye that tells the rest of the story. For a house, the deed lines out the name of the buyer, the financier, and the closing date among heaps of other information that form the basis of the property. For an electronic document, it’s not just the content or formatting that holds the key to understanding it. Metadata, which is data about the document, contains information such as the user who created it, creation date, the edit history, and file type. Metadata often tells the rest of the story about the document and, therefore, is often a key focus of eDiscovery.
In Pick v. City of Remsen, Iowa District Judge Mark W. Bennett upheld the magistrate judge’s order directing the destruction of an inadvertently-produced privileged document, an email from defense counsel to some of the defendants, after affirming the magistrate judge’s analysis of the five-step analysis to determine whether privilege was waived.
In my hometown of Houston, attempting to deny coverage to a client successfully sued for discovery-related negligence cost OneBeacon Insurance Company a $34 million judgment by a federal jury.
In Freedman v. Weatherford Int’l, New York Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, IV denied the plaintiff’s request to, among other things, require the defendant to produce “certain reports comparing the electronic search results from discovery in this action to the results from prior searches” – despite the fact that the plaintiff identified 18 emails that the defendant did not produce that were ultimately produced by a third party.
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