2014 eDiscovery Case Law Year in Review, Part 2

By : Doug Austin

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.

2014 eDiscovery Case Law Year in Review, Part 1

By : Doug Austin

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!

Court’s “New and Simpler Approach to Discovery” Identifies Search Terms for Plaintiff to Use – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

Plaintiff Ordered to Make its Production Conform to Rule 34 – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

Court Determines that Software License Agreement Does Not Eliminate Production Obligation of Video – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

Court Agrees with Defendants that Producing Medical Records in Native Form is an “Undue Burden” – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

Court Allows Costs for TIFF Conversion and OCR, Likens it to “Making Copies” – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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”.

Twitter Might “Bug” You if You Want to Retrieve Archive Data – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

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.

Defendant Ordered to Produce Archived Emails Even Though Plaintiff Failed to Produce Theirs – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

The Importance of Metadata – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

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.

Plaintiff Can’t “Pick” and Choose When it Comes to Privilege of Inadvertent Disclosures – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

Judgment of $34 Million against Insurer Dodging Malpractice Claim is a “Dish” Served Cold – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

Despite 18 Missing Emails in Production, Court Denies Request for “Discovery on Discovery” – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

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.

Text Overlays on Image-Only PDF Files Can Be Problematic – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

Recently, we at CloudNine Discovery received a set of Adobe PDF files from a client that raised an issue regarding the handling of those files for searching and reviewing purposes. The issue serves as a cautionary tale for those working with image-only PDFs in their document collection. Here’s a recap of the issue.

Battle Continues between Attorneys and Client over Attorneys’ Failure to Review Documents – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Price Waicukauski & Riley v. Murray, Indiana District Judge William T. Lawrence granted the plaintiff’s request for summary judgment for failure to pay attorney’s fees of over $125,000, and refused to issue summary judgment for either party related to a legal malpractice claim for the plaintiff’s admitted failure to review documents produced in the defendants’ case against another party because of a factual dispute regarding the plaintiff’s knowledge of the documents produced.

Court Rules that Joint Stipulation Supports Plaintiff’s Production of Images Instead of Native Files – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Melian Labs, Inc. v. Triology LLC, California Magistrate Judge Kandis A. Westmore denied the plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery in native form because the production format had been agreed upon under the parties’ ESI protocol under the Joint Rule 26(f) Report filed by the parties that supported production in “paper, PDF, or TIFF format”.

How Mature is Your Organization in Handling eDiscovery? – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

A new self-assessment resource from EDRM helps you answer that question. A few days ago, EDRM announced the release of the EDRM eDiscovery Maturity Self-Assessment Test (eMSAT-1), the “first self-assessment resource to help organizations measure their eDiscovery maturity”. Find out more about it here.

When Preparing Production Sets, Quality is Job 1 – Best of eDiscovery Daily

By : Doug Austin

Yesterday, we talked about addressing parameters of production up front to ensure that those requirements make sense and avoid foreseeable production problems well before the production step. Today, we will talk about quality control (QC) mechanisms to make sure that the production is complete and accurate. There are a number of checks that can and should be performed on the production set, prior to producing it to the requesting party. Here are some examples.

Production is the “Ringo” of the eDiscovery Phases – Best of eDiscovery Daily

By : Doug Austin

Most of the “press” associated with eDiscovery ranges from the “left side of the EDRM model” (i.e., Information Management, Identification, Preservation, Collection) through the stages to prepare materials for production (i.e., Processing, Review and Analysis). All of those phases lead to one inevitable stage in eDiscovery: Production. Yet, few people talk about the actual production step. If Preservation, Collection and Review are the “John”, “Paul” and “George” of the eDiscovery process, Production is “Ringo”.

Our 1,000th Post! – eDiscovery Milestones

By : Doug Austin

When we launched nearly four years ago on September 20, 2010, our goal was to be a daily resource for eDiscovery news and analysis. Now, after doing so each business day, I’m happy to announce that today is our 1,000th post on eDiscovery Daily! Check out what we've covered over 1,000 posts!

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About the Bloggers

Brad Jenkins

Brad Jenkins, President and CEO of CloudNine Discovery, has over 20 years of experience leading customer focused companies in the litigation support arena. Brad has authored many articles on litigation support issues, and has spoken before national audiences on document management practices and solutions.

Doug Austin

Doug Austin, Professional Services Manager for CloudNine Discovery, has over 20 years experience providing legal technology consulting and technical project management services to numerous commercial and government clients. Doug has also authored several articles on eDiscovery best practices.

Jane Gennarelli

Jane Gennarelli is a principal of Magellan’s Law Corporation and has been assisting litigators in effectively handling discovery materials for over 30 years. She authored the company’s Best Practices in a Box™ content product and assists firms in applying technology to document handling tasks. She is a known expert and often does webinars and presentations for litigation support professionals around the country. Jane can be reached by email at jane@litigationbestpractices.com.