Tag: Keyword Searches

1
O’Donnell/Salvatori Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (W.D. Wash. 2021)
2
Huntsman v. Southwest Airlines Co. (N.D. Cal. 2021)
3
Federal Trade Commission v. American Screening, LLC (E.D. Mo. 2021)
4
Maurer v. Sysco Albany, LLC (N.D.N.Y. 2021)
5
Healthedge Software, Inc. v. Sharp Health Plan (D. Mass. 2021)
6
Maker’s Mark Distiller, Inc. v. Spalding Grp., Inc. (W.D. Ky. 2021)
7
Hastings v. Ford Motor Co. (S.D. Cal. 2021)
8
Measured Wealth Private Client, Grp., LLC v. Foster (S.D. Fla., Mar. 2021)
9
Cary v. Ne. Ill. Reg’l Commuter R.R. Corp. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 22, 2021)
10
Optrics Inc. v. Barracuda Networks, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2021)

O’Donnell/Salvatori Inc. v. Microsoft Corp. (W.D. Wash. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiff moved the court to compel defendant to produce all non-privileged documents hitting on the agreed ESI search terms, regardless of whether they were relevant to a claim or defense in the case. Defendant had conducted a relevance review and withheld emails, such as employees joining or leaving the team, technical issues, and buying a new boat. The court denied plaintiff’s motion, finding that although there is little case law on the issue, “the courts that have addressed it have almost uniformly found that a relevance review, and the withholding of irrelevant documents, is appropriate.” Thus, the court ultimately held that “a party’s agreement to run search terms does not waive its right to review the resulting documents for relevance so long as the review can be done in a reasonably timely manner.”

Nature of Case: Copyright Infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

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

Measured Wealth Private Client, Grp., LLC v. Foster (S.D. Fla., Mar. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiff filed a Motion to Compel Forensic Examination to permit inspection of the Defendant’s cellular phone. Specifically, the Plaintiff sought iMessages and text messages for a 12-month period. The Defendant asserted that the temporal scope of the messages sought was too broad, the messages could be obtained from other sources, and the examination of the phone for such a long time period was a “mere fishing expedition”.

The Court directed that the forensic examination proceed with an agreed upon independent expert to examine a forensic image of the phone with the Plaintiff paying for the initial fees and costs for doing so. In such an image was not feasible, then the expert was to acquire as much data as possible from the device to allow for the recovery of the iMessages and text messages. The Court noted that the Defendant had been “obstructionist” in responding to Plaintiff’s initial discovery requests (which sought the above described messages), and expressed concern about the Defendant providing complete production of all requested documents in the litigation.

Nature of Case: Employment

Electronic Data Involved: Text Messages, iMessages, Cellular Phone

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

Optrics Inc. v. Barracuda Networks, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2021)

Key Insight: The Plaintiff in litigation over claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract failed to preserve and destroyed discoverable electronic data, and similarly, failed to prepare for 30(b)(6) depositions. Moreover, there were repeated delays (and time extensions) in Plaintiff responding to Defendant’s discovery requests. In doing so, the Plaintiff repeatedly disobeyed discovery orders issued by the Court.

The litigation settled while discovery was pending. The Defendant moved for sanctions against the Plaintiff for its conduct in discovery, and the Court, pursuant to FRCP 37(b), awarded sanctions against Plaintiff and its counsel, jointly and severally. Plaintiff’s former counsel subsequently claimed that it should not be held liable for the sanctions because it was unable to control the conduct of its client in responding to discovery order(s) and requests.

Nature of Case: Intellectual Property, Trademark Infringement, Contracts, Unfair Competition

Electronic Data Involved: Email, Electronic Files, Hard Drives.

Case Summary

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