Signed by Chief District Judge Leonard Davis on February 27, 2012, amendments to the Local Rules in the Eastern District of Texas include a [Model] Order Regarding E-Discovery in Patent Cases similar to an order promulgated by a subcommittee of the Advisory Council of the Federal Circuit late last year. The new [Model] Order is different in several respects, however. The treatment of email, for example, differs in several important ways, including that the presumptive limitation on the allowable number of custodians is raised from five to eight, that the presumptive limitation on the allowable number of search terms is raised from five to ten, and that the court may consider requests for additional or fewer custodians without limitation. The [Model] Order in the Eastern District of Texas also includes instruction on the production of ESI, including, for example, requiring production in TIFF format and specifying that no party has an obligation to make its production text-searchable unless it already exists in that form or is being converted for use in the litigation, including for use by the producing party’s counsel. The [Model] Order in the Eastern District also limits a party’s obligation to restore backup media absent a showing of good cause and likewise precludes the obligation to collect and preserve voicemails, PDAs, and mobile phones (deemed “not reasonably accessible”) absent the same showing.
Although the rules are effective immediately, comments regarding the amendments will be accepted by the Clerk of Court until Friday, March 23, 2012.
A copy of the General Order Amending Local Rules is available here.