TetraVue, Inc. v. St. Paul Fire & Marine Ins. Co., No. 14cv2021-W (BLM), 2017 WL 1008788 (S.D. Cal. Mar. 15, 2017)

Key Insight: Defendant moved to compel Plaintiff to produce additional documents, supplement discovery responses, and remove non-responsive documents from their production. Plaintiff had not been able to obtain the entire underlying action file from former counsel, and argued they do not have actual control over the documents. The court found Plaintiffs did have ?possession, custody or control? of the file under Fed. R. Civ. P. 34 (even though counsel had not been cooperative in turning the materials over) and granted Defendant?s motion to compel production of additional non-privileged and responsive documents. Plaintiffs were ordered to obtain the file and provide supplemental responses to Defendant?s RFPs. Defendant asserted Plaintiff?s previous production was a ?data dump? without an index (and contained numerous non-responsive documents), and did not comply with Fed. R. Civ. P. 34. Plaintiffs contended that Defendant did not request a specific format and that they complied with the discovery order and produced their ESI in a proper format (PDF). Plaintiffs also claimed that Defendant?s request to have Plaintiff organize their production based on RFPs would be disproportionate – the production was in date order, allowing Defendant to ?organize, index and search the data at a low cost and with little effort.? The court agreed, finding the production adequate and cited the advisory committee?s notes for Fed. R. Civ. P. 34 (?contemplated that the parties requesting ESI would be able to organize it themselves?). Finally, the court denied Defendant?s motion for supplemented interrogatory responses, finding the Plaintiffs? responses adequate (the burden of finding the answer would be ?substantially the same for either party?).

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

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