Citing The Sedona Conference Glossary for E-Discovery, Court Overrules Vagueness and Ambiguity Objections to Request for Production

Johnson v. Kraft Foods N. Am., Inc., 2006 WL 3302684 (D. Kan. Nov. 14, 2006)

In this decision, the court granted in part plaintiffs’ motion to compel and overruled a number of defendants’ objections to plaintiffs’ request for production. Among other things, defendants had objected that many of the terms used in the request were vague and ambiguous, including: “electronic databases,” “personnel related data,” “database,” “coded fields,” and “data dictionaries.” Overruling the objection, the court noted that plaintiffs had attempted to resolve any ambiguity by providing definitions in a separate letter. It also noted that, while the court’s electronic discovery guidelines did not specifically provide definitions for the terms in dispute by the parties, the guidelines did provide a valuable reference to the Sedona Conference® for definitions of terms used in the guidelines. It concluded:

Thus, Defendants have at their disposal definitions of the disputed terms provided by Plaintiffs, district guidelines that reference the Sedona Conference® comprehensive glossary of terms related to electronically stored information, and case law that directs parties to exercise reason and common sense in defining terms and phrases utilized in discovery requests. For these reasons, the Court finds Defendants have failed to carry their burden to show that the terms and phrases used in Plaintiffs’ discovery requests are vague or ambiguous.

The electronic discovery guidelines of the United States District Court for the District of Kansas were updated on October 17, 2006, and are available here:  http://www.ksd.uscourts.gov/guidelines/electronicdiscoveryguidelines.pdf

The Sedona Conference Glossary For E-Discovery and Digital Information Management (May 2005 Version) is available for free download here: http://www.thesedonaconference.org/content/miscFiles/publications_html?grp=wgs110

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