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Court Denies Motion to Compel Production of Electronic Versions of Previously Produced Hard Copy

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

McNally Tunneling Corp. v. City of Evanston, 2001 WL 1568879 (N.D. Ill. Dec.10, 2001)

In litigation arising from delays in a municipal sewer project, defendant sought electronic production of email, computerized schedules and cost summaries which had already been produced in hard copy form.

The court found that defendant had failed to meet its burden of establishing that paper copies of the computer files were insufficient, and denied the motion. The court was not impressed by defendant’s vague assertion that “the electronic version of McNally’s schedules will better allow the City and its consultants to understand the reasons for the delays encountered by McNally on this project.” 2001 WL 1568879, at *4. It further stated that its own research had uncovered “an apparent split of authority on whether a party is entitled to both hard-copy and electronic versions of computer files,” citing Williams v. Owens-Illinois, Inc., 665 F.2d 918 (9th Cir. 1982) and Anti-Monopoly v. Hasbro, 1995 WL 649934 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 3, 1995), and noted that neither party had cited or discussed those or any other cases. Id. In response to defendant’s speculation that the hard-copies may be incomplete, the court ordered the plaintiff “to supplement the hard-copy versions of its computer files to ensure that it had produced all of the information contained in those files to [the city].” Id. at *5.