In re Stern, 321 S.W.3d 828 (Tex. Ct. App. 2010)

Key Insight: On petition for a writ of mandamus, the Supreme Court held that the trial court abused its discretion in ordering petitioner to produce communications between himself and nearly forty individuals where such discovery was not narrowly tailored to avoid the inclusion of ?tenuous information irrelevant to the establishment of jurisdiction? (the subject of petitioner?s special appearance) and held that the trial court abused its discretion in appointing a special master to conduct a forensic examination of petitioner?s hard drive where there was no showing that petitioner had defaulted in his discovery obligations, where there was no showing that a search of the hard drive would recover relevant information (particularly in light of petitioner?s use of web-based email), where the special master was appointed without following the procedures called for by the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, where the special master?s broad authorization to search the hard drives (including the authority to choose search terms) amounted to an ?impermissible fishing expedition?, and where the trial court required no showing of the feasibility of retrieving the data by the party requesting the search

Nature of Case: Defamation

Electronic Data Involved: Emails, hard drive

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