Search Results For: proportionality

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TX Supreme Court Addresses Format of Production, Applies Proportionality
2
Noting Reliance Solely on Cost of Discovery, Court Rejects Proportionality Objection
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In Patent Case, Court Indicates Importance of Damages Disclosures to Proportionality Calculation
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Applying Proportionality to Preservation, Court Grants Permission to Dispose of Computers
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Applying Proportionality, Court Denies Motion to Compel Additional Search for ESI, Reminds Parties of Other Discovery Tools
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Citing Proportionality, Court Concludes it would be “Senseless” to Require Plaintiff to “Go to Great Lengths” to Produce Evidence Defendants are “Able to Do Without”
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Citing Proportionality, Court Declines to Require Defendant to Redo Discovery Utilizing Only Predictive Coding
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“Post-Public Comment” Version of The Sedona Conference® Commentary on Proportionality in Electronic Discovery Now Available
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In Minnesota, Amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure Highlight Proportionality
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Court Focuses on Cooperation & Proportionality to Resolve Discovery Disputes

TX Supreme Court Addresses Format of Production, Applies Proportionality

In re State Farm Lloyds, Nos. 15-0903, 15-0905, 2017 WL 2323099 (Tex. Mar. 26, 2017)

Today, we elucidate the guiding principles informing the exercise of discretion over electronic-discovery disputes, emphasizing that proportionality is the polestar. In doing so, we further a guiding tenet of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure: that litigants achieve a “just, fair, equitable and impartial adjudication . . . with as great expedition and dispatch and at the least expense . . . as may be practicable.”

In this dispute over the format of production, the Supreme Court of Texas took its opportunity to “(1) clarify that neither the requesting party nor the producing party has a unilateral right to specify the format of discovery under Rule 196.4 and (2) provide guidance regarding the application of Rule 192.4’s proportionality factors in the electronic-discovery context.” In so doing, the court denied the request for mandamus relief without prejudice “to allow the relator to seek reconsideration by the trial court in light of [the] opinion.”  The court summarized its conclusions as follows:

Under our discovery rules, neither party may dictate the form of electronic discovery. The requesting party must specify the desired form of production, but all discovery is subject to the proportionality overlay embedded in our discovery rules and inherent in the reasonableness standard to which our electronic-discovery rule is tethered. The taproot of this discovery dispute is whether production in native format is reasonable given the circumstances of this case. Reasonableness and its bedfellow, proportionality, require a case-by-case balancing of jurisprudential considerations, which is informed by factors the discovery rules identify as limiting the scope of discovery and geared toward the ultimate objective of “obtain[ing] a just, fair, equitable and impartial adjudication” for the litigants “with as great expedition and dispatch at the least expense … as may be practicable.” (Citations omitted.)

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Noting Reliance Solely on Cost of Discovery, Court Rejects Proportionality Objection

Cargill Meat Solutions Corp. v. Premium Beef Feeders, LLC, No. 13-cv-1168-EFM-TJJ, 2015 WL 3937410 (D. Kan. June 26, 2015)

In this case the court addressed Defendants’ motion to compel and Plaintiff’s objection to discovery based on proportionality. Concluding that Plaintiff failed to adequately establish the alleged burden of the requested discovery, the court granted the motion to compel.

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In Patent Case, Court Indicates Importance of Damages Disclosures to Proportionality Calculation

Corning Optical Commc’ns Wireless Ltd. v. Solid, Inc., No. 5:14-cv-03750-PSG, 2015 WL 1726749 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 14, 2015)

In this patent infringement case, the court addressed the “classic chicken-and-egg” problem of requiring initial disclosures regarding damages where “[t]o provide meaningful calculations, patentees need lots of information from accused infringers. But the expense of producing lots of information can only be justified by a meaningful calculation suggesting that substantial dollars are actually at stake.”  The court explained that despite significant discovery in the present case, including the exchange of “reams of data,” “neither side ha[d] any firm sense of whether this [was] a $1 case or a case worth billions.”  Moreover, the court explained, “the parties here are not unusual.  For years it has been the norm in patent cases to bludgeon first and value second.”  In granting Defendant’s motion to compel, the court acknowledged that the information sought was not only important to the defendant, but also to the court, stating: “Proportionality is part and parcel of just about every discovery dispute.”

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Applying Proportionality to Preservation, Court Grants Permission to Dispose of Computers

Lord Abbett Mun. Income Fund., Inc v. Asami, No. C-12-03694 DMR, 2014 WL 5477639 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 29, 2014)

Following an order granting summary judgment in their favor, the “Board Member Defendants” notified the plaintiff that they would no longer contribute to the cost of storing 159 computers, but refused to consent to allowing Plaintiff to dispose of them, arguing that Plaintiff should be required to preserve the computers until “after the Ninth Circuit has ruled on its appeal and any trial has been completed.”  The court declined to compel Plaintiff to bear the costs and burden of continuing to preserve, however, where discovery had closed, where there was no indication that the computers contained relevant information, and where the defendants had “numerous opportunities to test their belief that the computers may have evidentiary value, but [had] refused to act on them.”

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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

Citing Proportionality, Court Concludes it would be “Senseless” to Require Plaintiff to “Go to Great Lengths” to Produce Evidence Defendants are “Able to Do Without”

Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co. Ltd., No. 12-CV-0630-LHK (PSG), 2013 WL 4426512 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2013)

Relying on the “all-to-often [sic] ignored discovery principle” of proportionality the court declined to compel Plaintiff “to go to great lengths” to produce information that the defendants could “do without.”

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Citing Proportionality, Court Declines to Require Defendant to Redo Discovery Utilizing Only Predictive Coding

In re: Biomet M2a Magnum Hip Implant Prods. Liab. Litig., NO. 3:12-MD-2391 (N.D. Ind. Apr. 18, 2013)

In this product liability case, Plaintiffs’ Steering Committee objected to Biomet’s reliance on keyword searching to initially reduce the volume of information it then subjected to predictive coding and sought to require Biomet to start again and to utilize only predictive coding, with plaintiffs’ input.  The court concluded that Biomet’s efforts complied with its discovery obligations under the civil rules.

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In Minnesota, Amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure Highlight Proportionality

On February 4, 2013, the Supreme Court of the State of Minnesota adopted amendments to the Rules of Civil Procedure, including those affecting discovery.  Of particular note were amendments to Rules 1 and 26.  Specifically (and significantly), Rule 1 was amended to state that it is the responsibility of the parties and the court to assure proportionality throughout the litigation.  Accordingly, Rule 1 now states (new language is underlined):

These rules govern the procedure in the district courts of the State of Minnesota in all suits of a civil nature, with the exceptions stated in Rule 81.  They shall be construed and administered to secure the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action.

It is the responsibility of the court and the parties to examine each civil action to assure that the process and the costs are proportionate to the amount in controversy and the complexity and importance of the issues.  The factors to be considered by the court in making a proportionality assessment include, without limitation: needs of the case, amount in controversy, parties’ resources, and complexity and importance of the issues at stake in the litigation.

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Court Focuses on Cooperation & Proportionality to Resolve Discovery Disputes

Kleen Prods. LLC v. Packaging Corp. of Am., No. 10 C 5711, 2012 WL 4498465 (N.D. Ill. Sept. 28, 2012)

In this multi-defendant litigation, Plaintiffs sought additional discovery, including the identification of additional custodians and the restoration and review of Defendants’ backup tapes.  In resolving these discovery disputes, the court focused on the need for cooperation and proper consideration and application of the principle of proportionality (Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(C)).

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