Adkins v. EQT Prod. Co., No. 1:10cv00041, 2012 WL 5465491 (W.D. Va. May 31, 2012)

Key Insight: Addressing Defendant?s Motion for a Protective Order based on undue burden, court was ?persuaded? that no review was necessary to protect privilege because of the parties? Clawback Order and further found that a reasonable approach in light of Defendant?s assertions of burden (including that processing and review costs could exceed 4 million dollars, as represented by Defendant?s litigation support vendor) was to require Defendant to search and filter its ESI itself (rather than relying on the vendor), with all emails to be designated ?confidential? which would then shift the burden to Plaintiff?s counsel to determine if the ESI produced was over or under inclusive; Court specifically held that ?the court may consider the cost of review of ESI for privileged or responsive information in deciding whether discovery imposes an undue burden or cost on a responding party. Furthermore if the court were inclined to limit discovery based on the burden or cost of the review, I hold that the court could shift the costs of that review, either in whole or in part, to the requesting party.?

Nature of Case: Class action based on alleged entitlement to royalty payments

Electronic Data Involved: Emails, ESI

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