Archive: January 13, 2010

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Court Finds Claims of Burden and Expense “Exaggerated,” Declines to Find Emails “Not Reasonably Accessible”

Court Finds Claims of Burden and Expense “Exaggerated,” Declines to Find Emails “Not Reasonably Accessible”

Starbucks Corp. v. ADT Security Servs., Inc., 2009 WL 4730798 (W.D. Wash. Apr. 30, 2009)

In this recently released opinion written early last year, the defendant, ADT Security Services, Inc. (“ADT”), sought to avoid its obligation to produce archived emails by arguing the emails were not “reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost,” as that term is used in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(B).  In support of this position, ADT’s Manager of Information Technology, John Mitchell, provided various estimates regarding the potential cost of time and money to restore the requested email.  In response, the plaintiff, Starbucks Corporation (“Starbucks”), provided its own estimates of the potential cost which were significantly lower than those proffered by ADT.  Finding Mitchell had “at every turn, provided exaggerated reasons and exaggerated expenses as to why ADT allegedly cannot and should not be ordered to comply with its discovery obligations,” the court declined to find the information at issue “not reasonably accessible.”  Moreover, the court indicated that even had the information been deemed not reasonably accessible, the court would have found that good cause existed to order the production.  Accordingly, Starbuck’s motion to compel was granted.

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