Archive: September 2014

1
Court Approves Use of Predictive Coding Despite Objection to “Unproven Technology”
2
Applying Proportionality, Court Denies Motion to Compel Additional Search for ESI, Reminds Parties of Other Discovery Tools
3
Another Milestone Passes: Judicial Conference Approves Federal Civil Rules Amendments
4
Court Allows Plaintiff to “switch horses in midstream” and Use Predictive Coding to Review Documents Initially Screened with Search Terms
5
“The time to tap flexibility and creativity is during meet and confer, not after.” – Court Quashes Subpoena, Declines to Allow Plaintiff to Accept Prior Offer for Production

Court Approves Use of Predictive Coding Despite Objection to “Unproven Technology”

Dynamo Holdings Ltd. P’ship v. Comm’r of Internal Revenue, Nos. 2685-11, 8393-12 (T.C. Sept. 17, 2014)

In this case, the court approved petitioners’  (Dynamo Holdings Ltd. Partnership et. al.) use of predictive coding to identify potentially responsive and privileged data contained on two backup tapes, despite respondent’s  (Commissioner of Internal Revenue) objection that the technology was “unproven.” Read More

Applying Proportionality, Court Denies Motion to Compel Additional Search for ESI, Reminds Parties of Other Discovery Tools

United States v. Univ. Nebraska at Kearney, No. 4:11CV3209, 2014 WL 4215381 (D. Neb. Aug. 25, 2014)

In this housing discrimination case, the parties disagreed regarding the proper scope of discovery and plaintiff’s proposed search terms.  Plaintiff sought the production of ESI related to requests for accommodation of a disability in every context (e.g., housing, academics, employment, etc.) while defendants sought to limit production to the “housing” or “residential” contexts.  The court found that plaintiff’s request was overly broad on its face and that the additional costs required by the requested searching would “far outweigh” anything that could be gained.  Moreover, the court agreed with defendants that even with a clawback order, review of potentially responsive documents would be required to protect students’ privacy interests.  Finally, in response to claims that defendants’ proposed search would miss responsive ESI, the court reasoned that “[s]earching for ESI is only one discovery tool,” and suggested that “[s]tandard document production requests, interrogatories, and depositions should suffice – and with far less cost and delay.” Read More

Another Milestone Passes: Judicial Conference Approves Federal Civil Rules Amendments

As reported by the National Law Journal (subscription required), the Judicial Conference has approved proposed changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure.  No revisions to the proposals were reported.  The proposals will now go before the United States Supreme Court for review and, if approved, will take effect on December 1, 2015, absent any action by Congress to revise or reject the amendments.

The rules to be affected by the pending amendments include rules 1, 4, 16, 26, 30, 31, 33 and 34 (collectively known as the “Duke Rules Package”). The proposed amendments also include an entirely rewritten Rule 37(e) addressing preservation and sanctions.

For more information regarding specific proposed changes (including the proposed text of the rules), read the Summary of the Report of the Judicial Conference Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure, HERE.

Court Allows Plaintiff to “switch horses in midstream” and Use Predictive Coding to Review Documents Initially Screened with Search Terms

Bridgestone Americas, Inc. v. Int. Bus. Machs. Corp., No. 3:13-1196 (M.D. Tenn. July 22, 2014)

In this case, the court approved plaintiff’s request to use predictive coding in reviewing over two million documents, despite defendant’s objections that the request was an “unwarranted change in the original case management order” and that it would be unfair to allow the use of predictive coding “after an initial screening has been done with search terms.” Read More

“The time to tap flexibility and creativity is during meet and confer, not after.” – Court Quashes Subpoena, Declines to Allow Plaintiff to Accept Prior Offer for Production

Boston Scientific Corp. v. Lee, No. 5:14-mc-80188-BLF-PSG, 2014 WL 3851157 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 4, 2014)

This case illustrates a recurring problem in all civil discovery, especially in intellectual property cases. A party demands the sun, moon and stars in a document request or interrogatory, refusing to give even a little bit. The meet and confer required by a court in advance of a motion is perfunctory at best, with no compromise whatsoever. But when the parties appear before the court, the recalcitrant party possesses newfound flexibility and a willingness to compromise. Think Eddie Haskell singing the Beaver’s praises to June Cleaver, only moments after giving him the business in private. Having considered the arguments, the court GRANTS Nevro’s motion to quash.

Boston Scientific Corp., 2014 WL 3851157, at *1.

In this case, the court addressed plaintiff’s subpoena seeking the production of a complete forensic image of two laptops utilized by the defendant, a former employee of the plaintiff, during his employment with plaintiff’s competitor, who the defendant began working for soon after resigning his position with the plaintiff.  Read More

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