Tag: Format Of Production

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Famulare v. Gannett Co., Inc. (D.N.J. 2022)
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Cody v. City of St. Louis (E.D. Mo. 2021)
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Allen v. PPE Casino Resorts Maryland, LLC (D. Md. 2021)
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Haywood v. Wexford Health Sources, Inc. (N.D. Ill. 2021)
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Martinez-Sanchez v. Anthony Vineyards, Inc. (E.D. Cal. Apr. 29, 2021)
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Charter Communications Operating, LLC v. Optymze, LLC (Del. Ch. 2021)
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Marine Depot, Int’l, Inc. v. James River Grp., Inc. (S.D. Fla. Dec. 30, 2020)
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Carrington v Graden, (S.D.N.Y. 2020)
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US EEOC v The George Washington University (D.D.C. 2020)
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Corker v. Costco Wholesale (W.D. Wash. 2020)

Famulare v. Gannett Co., Inc. (D.N.J. 2022)

Key Insight: The discovery dispute involved whether defendants are obligated to produce screenshots of certain computer generated reports from defendants’ computer program known as Salesforce. Salesforce maintains and memorializes various performance metrics of individual account executives. Plaintiff generated and printed some of her own performance metrics and seeks in discovery the same reports for certain other defendant employees for purposes of comparison. Defendants assert that the reports are not free-standing, fixed reports but are screenshots of the Salesforce dashboard and they cannot generate reports but can only provide her with the underlying historical data in Excel, which they already provided. The court affirmed the magistrate judge’s opinion, ruling that whether Salesforce is incapable of generating and printing the reports as they maintain it is would need to be determined by a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition. The functionality of the Salesforce data is the core issue in the motion and the court reiterated the magistrate’s sentiments that until the deposition is completed, the nature of the Salesforce program and its capabilities are unknown.

Nature of Case: Employment Discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Screenshots

Case Summary

Allen v. PPE Casino Resorts Maryland, LLC (D. Md. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiffs sought a protective order to prevent defendant from obtaining ESI from five different social media platforms they were active on. The court found that while a plaintiff’s social media postings could be relevant to a claim for “garden variety” emotional distress damages, some caution was necessary, such that a “deeper dive” into social media postings may be justified only in cases involving “severe and specific emotional distress” allegations. Since plaintiff alleged “garden variety” emotional distress stemming from defendant’s allegedly wrongful conduct, the discovery must be narrowed as follows: “specific references to serious, non-transient emotional distress in connection with the incidents described in their Complaint,” i.e., diagnosable conditions, visits to professionals for treatment of distress, treatment regimens and conversations regarding same; time frame limited from date contained in complaint of onset of difficulties to the date of filing of complaint; production limited to information found in a typical download of data from plaintiffs’ own accounts and plaintiffs “need not engage in extraordinary efforts in obtaining responsive information.”

Nature of Case: Employment discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Social media posts

Case Summary

Martinez-Sanchez v. Anthony Vineyards, Inc. (E.D. Cal. Apr. 29, 2021)

Key Insight: The burden of production and utility of the employee badge scans sought by plaintiffs outweighed the benefit to plaintiffs of analyzing the information because: (1) the timekeeping software did not have a reporting function for timestamps and collecting the information would require at least 22,000 hours of manual work; (2) the software only contained records for some months of 2019, less than a quarter of the four-year class period; and (3) the timestamps do not definitively establish the time at which the event happened. Plaintiffs were only entitled to the data in the form in which it is ordinarily maintained. Further, plaintiffs’ request for another copy of defendants’ payroll data would be needlessly cumulative as defendants had provided alternative solutions to plaintiffs’ data extraction and reporting issues. Lastly, although the magistrate judge’s order did not explicitly cite to Rule 26(b)(2), the court’s reasoning clearly fell under Rule 26(b)(2)(B), which permitted the court to deny the production of ESI where the information is “not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost” irrespective of whether the magistrate judge had analyzed all the proportionality factors contained in Rule 26(b)(1).

Nature of Case: Labor and Employment

Electronic Data Involved: Timekeeping Data

Case Summary

Charter Communications Operating, LLC v. Optymze, LLC (Del. Ch. 2021)

Key Insight: Defendant committed serious misconduct sufficient to justify dismissal of its counterclaims under Rule 41(b). Defendant refused the reasonable request for native files exchanged via Microsoft Teams. Defendant produced individual emails containing each message. In this format, the messages could not be reassembled into complete conversations. Defendant was compelled to produce the native files which revealed extensive spoliation of evidence. Defendant edited numerous chat messages in an effort to hide instructions to employees to take actions that violated court orders. Because all of the unaddressed misconduct related to Defendant’s counterclaims, dismissal of those counterclaims with prejudice and award of fees and expenses is an adequate remedy.

Nature of Case: Breach of Contract

Electronic Data Involved: Instant message

Case Summary

Marine Depot, Int’l, Inc. v. James River Grp., Inc. (S.D. Fla. Dec. 30, 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant asked the court to compel plaintiff to search its computers and servers for responsive documents and contended certain documents should exist and have not yet been produced. The court noted “Rule 34 is silent as to how a party must locate these responsive documents, and the measures a party must take in conducting its search.” Further, defendants offered no case law that would require plaintiff to search a location it had no reason to believe responsive documents would be located. Absent any factual basis to believe that additional search of plaintiff’s server is necessary or to rebut plaintiff’s sworn testimony that there are no relevant, non-duplicative documents stored there that have not already been produced, no further search was ordered and sanctions were not appropriate.

Nature of Case: Breach of contract

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

Carrington v Graden, (S.D.N.Y. 2020)

Key Insight: Plaintiff was discovered to have fabricated emails. Court awarded over $500,000 in damages to Defendant.

Nature of Case: antitrust litigation

Electronic Data Involved: Emails

Keywords: sanctions,m fabricated evidence

View Case Opinion

US EEOC v The George Washington University (D.D.C. 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant was ordered to produce non-privileged emails responsive to RFP’s. Linear reivew proposed by Defendant wasn’t necessary and other paths existed. Concerns that potential production of privileged information was not enough to justify withholding. Defendant claimed a document by document review was needed, but court believed claw back provisions would be sufficient.

Nature of Case: employment discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Keywords: review process, 502, privilege

View Case Opinion

Corker v. Costco Wholesale (W.D. Wash. 2020)

Key Insight:

Electronic documents should be produced in the form it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably useable form. PDF images of a spreadsheet are not a reasonably usable form due to the functional limitations. While they are readable and searchable, they cannot be sorted or filtered as an original spreadsheet can be. Spreadsheets should be produced in their native form.

A party cannot unilaterally redact a document based on relevance absent a claim of privilege. In cases where the document contains highly confidential commercial information, a protective order may be issued requiring the information not be revealed or only be revealed in a specified way, such as designating it for “counsel eyes only.”

Electronic documents should be produced in the form it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably useable form. PDF images of a spreadsheet are not a reasonably usable form due to the functional limitations. While they are readable and searchable, they cannot be sorted or filtered as an original spreadsheet can be. Spreadsheets should be produced in their native form.

A party cannot unilaterally redact a document based on relevance absent a claim of privilege. In cases where the document contains highly confidential commercial information, a protective order may be issued requiring the information not be revealed or only be revealed in a specified way, such as designating it for “counsel eyes only.”

Nature of Case: Class Action, Unfair Competition

Electronic Data Involved: Spreadsheets

Case Summary

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