Tag: Keyword Searches

1
Huntsman v. Southwest Airlines Co. (N.D. Cal. 2021)
2
Federal Trade Commission v. American Screening, LLC (E.D. Mo. 2021)
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Maurer v. Sysco Albany, LLC (N.D.N.Y. 2021)
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Healthedge Software, Inc. v. Sharp Health Plan (D. Mass. 2021)
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Maker’s Mark Distiller, Inc. v. Spalding Grp., Inc. (W.D. Ky. 2021)
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Hastings v. Ford Motor Co. (S.D. Cal. 2021)
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Cary v. Ne. Ill. Reg’l Commuter R.R. Corp. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 22, 2021)
8
In re: 3M Combat Arms Earplug Prods. Liab. Litig. (N.D. Fla., Oct. 2020)
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Gross v. Chapman (N.D. Ill. July 28, 2020)
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In re Mercedes-Benz Emissions Litigation (D. N.J. 2020)

Huntsman v. Southwest Airlines Co. (N.D. Cal. 2021)

Key Insight: The parties sought clarification on the scope of plaintiff’s discovery seeking documents relating to Southwest’s practices for verifying military leave. Defendant objected to the discovery requests on the basis of relevance, scope and proportionality, but agreed to conduct a phased search of its custodians’ data for responsive documents. The court agreed with defendant that the requests as written were overbroad given that the certified class was focused on an alleged failure to pay for short-term leave and plaintiff was not entitled to all potential USERRA violations. “Southwest’s approach to using keyword searches and technology-assisted review in tandem does not offend the court’s expectation that the parties conduct a reasonable inquiry as required by the rules.”

Nature of Case: Class action under USERRA

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

Federal Trade Commission v. American Screening, LLC (E.D. Mo. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel Defendants to produce internal emails in litigation over false advertising and the FTC Act; Defendants had previously objected to Plaintiff’s discovery requests without disclosing if responsive materials were withheld on the basis of their objections. Defendants responded that use of 58 search terms provided by Plaintiff yielded over 7,000,000 results, and that Plaintiff’s request(s) were overbroad, irrelevant, vague, ambiguous and burdensome. The Court rejects these assertions, granting Plaintiff’s Motion and holding that Defendants must search for and produce the information sought by Plaintiff.

Nature of Case: Antitrust, False Advertising, Consumer Protection

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

Maurer v. Sysco Albany, LLC (N.D.N.Y. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Defendants to produce electronically stored information responsive to specific keyword searches as well as predictive coding. Defendants opposed the Motion on the basis that the information sought was overbroad, and not proportional or relevant to the litigation. Defendants proposed their own electronically stored information “search protocol”.

The Court partially granted Plaintiff’s Motion, allowing specific keyword searches and search methods requested by Plaintiff. Notably, the Court granted Plaintiff’s request to utilize predictive coding in the search for electronically stored information.

Nature of Case: Wrongful Termination, Disability Discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Documents, Emails,

Case Summary

Healthedge Software, Inc. v. Sharp Health Plan (D. Mass. 2021)

Key Insight:

Defendant filed a Motion to Compel Plaintiff to produce documents, including source code, and Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel Defendant to disclose how it collected and searched its electronically stored information (ESI). The Court granted Plaintiff’s Motion while partially granting Defendant’s Motion.

A significant issue in both Motions was the respective parties’ collection of ESI. The Court noted that the parties failed “to engage in cooperative planning regarding ESI”, and directed the parties to confer regarding custodians and search terms of ESI collection and review. In partially granting Defendant’s Motion, the Court directed Plaintiff to further articulate its objections, but stated that some of Defendant’s discovery requests were premature even if Plaintiff was obligated to respond to them by the close of discovery.

Nature of Case: Breach of Contract

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Documents, Source Code

Case Summary

Maker’s Mark Distiller, Inc. v. Spalding Grp., Inc. (W.D. Ky. 2021)

Key Insight: The litigation was over a licensing agreement regarding the use of trademarks owned by Plaintiff on cigars. Plaintiff filed a Motion(s) for a Protective Order and to Compel. The Protective Order sought would to preclude deposition testimony regarding functionality. The Motion to Compel sought to compel Defendant to utilize a new search protocol to find requested information (and documents) and produce financial records.

Plaintiff’s Motion for a Protective Order was granted; its Motion to Compel was partially granted, requiring Defendant to produce financial records, and but denied insofar as it sought to compel Defendant to utilize new search terms to search for documents. Unreasonable delay by Plaintiff in raising the issue(s) of the new search terms and/or purportedly missing documents was a significant factor in the Court’s partial denial of Plaintiff’s Motion.

Nature of Case: Trademark Infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Financial Records, Electronic Documents

Case Summary

Hastings v. Ford Motor Co. (S.D. Cal. 2021)

Key Insight: In litigation over product defect claim(s), Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel Defendants to produce additional records pursuant to its discovery requests. The Motion centered around search terms that Plaintiff sought to compel Defendants to utilize in searching for responsive records. Reviewing specific Requests for Production, the Court found that they were overbroad and lacked relevance. Plaintiff’s Motion was denied, and Plaintiff was ordered to show why it (and counsel) should not have to reimburse Defendants’ for attorney’s fees and expenses in responding to the Motion.

Nature of Case: Contract Product Liability

Electronic Data Involved: Search Terms

Case Summary

Cary v. Ne. Ill. Reg’l Commuter R.R. Corp. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 22, 2021)

Key Insight: Court granted, in large part, plaintiff’s motion to compel ESI, requiring defendant to disclose data sources that may contain relevant ESI and refused to impose an “arbitrary limit of five or seven custodians” requested by defendants given the number of people identified as having potentially relevant information in their initial disclosures. The court urged the parties to agree upon search terms to less the burden of ESI searches and revisit an agreed time period in light of the court’s memorandum and order, rather than take “absolute line-in-the-sand positions” (citing Standing Order Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information at Principle 1.02 (Cooperation)). The court denied plaintiff’s request to produce the entire contents of her work email, finding the blanket request overbroad on its face.

Nature of Case: Employment discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

Gross v. Chapman (N.D. Ill. July 28, 2020)

Key Insight: Bride and groom called off their wedding after a dispute arose over whether it should be an “adults only” affair. The bride’s parents sued the groom’s parents claiming they were out over $100,000 in wedding costs. After defendants produced 5,000 text messages, the court declined to grant further discovery into the process surrounding how the text messages were collected. A large volume of ESI had already been produced at significant expense to defendants and plaintiff’s motion to compel was based on speculation— “discovery on discovery with no basis other than plaintiffs’ hopeful guess that there must be more texts” and was substantially out of proportion to the needs of the case.

Nature of Case: Invasion of Privacy

Electronic Data Involved: Text Messages

Case Summary

In re Mercedes-Benz Emissions Litigation (D. N.J. 2020)

Key Insight: Although TAR is widely recognized as “cheaper, more efficient, and superior to keyword searching,” the responding party may decide for themselves the best method for producing their ESI. The court will not compel the utilization of TAR but may revisit the issue if Plaintiff contends the actual production is deficient.

Nature of Case: Environmental, Class Action

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Documents Generally

Case Summary

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