Tag: Proportionality

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Edwards v. McDermott Int’l, Inc. (S.D. Tex. 2022)
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Jordan Khan Music Co. v. Taglioli (E.D. Tex. 2022)
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America West Bank Members v. State of Utah (D. Utah 2021)
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Doe v. Wesleyan University (D. Conn. 2021)
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Hinrichs v. Allstate Insurance Co. (W.D. Wash. July 20, 2021)
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Axis Insurance Company v. American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc. (N.D. Ind. 2021)
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Allen v. PPE Casino Resorts Maryland, LLC (D. Md. 2021)
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Maurer v. Sysco Albany, LLC (N.D.N.Y. 2021)
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Aviles v. S&P Global, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2021)
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D’Agostin v. Fitness Int’l, LLC (D. Conn. May, 12, 2021)

Edwards v. McDermott Int’l, Inc. (S.D. Tex. 2022)

Key Insight: The court was required to balance the proportionality factors to determine whether plaintiff’s proposed search terms that would require defendants to review 1.3 million documents were proportional to the needs of the case or if defendants’ proposal to review half as many documents was more proportional. In applying the proportionality factors, the court found it a “close call” but granted the motion in plaintiff’s favor, ordering defendants to apply plaintiff’s proposed search terms and to begin review of the documents and produce them on a rolling basis.

Nature of Case: Securities Fraud

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

Jordan Khan Music Co. v. Taglioli (E.D. Tex. 2022)

Key Insight: Plaintiffs moved to compel the forensic examination of defendants’ devices and data storage for imaging and inspection, along with their licenses for all software used for their businesses. Plaintiffs claimed the discovery was relevant to their RICO claim, alleging continued criminal copyright infringement of unlicensed software as a predicate act. Defendants claimed forensic examination would be vastly disproportionate to the issue. The court agreed with defendants and denied plaintiffs’ motion to compel, finding the forensic examination would allow plaintiffs to become privy to information beyond the scope of audio software and they could engage in the discovery process in a less invasive but still worthwhile manner. Accordingly, the court ordered that defendant revise their boilerplate objections and respond to plaintiffs discovery requests to identify computers, storage mediums and software used in Defendants’ business within a specific time frame.

Nature of Case: Trademark Infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Devices, Computers, Software

Case Summary

America West Bank Members v. State of Utah (D. Utah 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiff filed a motion to compel after learning through the discovery process that defendants purged or lost emails and documents. Plaintiff sought “discovery on discovery” to discern the identities of individuals whose emails would have been responsive if those emails were still available, the identification of documents or categories of documents no longer available, and an explanation as to why other responsive documents were not produced. The court granted plaintiff’s request but found it “strictly limited to the purged former employee email accounts.” No additional depositions were permitted and plaintiff’s fourteen interrogatories on this topic were “neither reasonable nor proportional” to the limited nature of the discovery needed.

Nature of Case: Civil rights

Electronic Data Involved: Email and documents

Case Summary

Doe v. Wesleyan University (D. Conn. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiff was expelled from Wesleyan University after being accused of cheating on her exams. Defendant alleged that plaintiff accessed a computerized learning management system, “Moodle”, while taking her exams. Plaintiff claimed the Moodle logs upon which her expulsion was based were faulty. Plaintiff moved to compel discovery, including ESI relating to Moodle regarding the installation, implementation and administration of Moodle at the college. The court found plaintiff was entitled to explore discovery on how the Moodle system logs and registers time. The discovery was relevant to defendant’s affirmative defense that plaintiff cheated and determining the time zone settings of the Moodle log was relevant to Plaintiff’s contention that Moodle was accessed hours before Plaintiff was taking the exams in question.

Nature of Case: Negligence

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Devices

Case Summary

Hinrichs v. Allstate Insurance Co. (W.D. Wash. July 20, 2021)

Key Insight: Defendant sought discovery of plaintiff’s social media, e-mails and text messages, and recommended an e-discovery vendor to search and collect the ESI, at defendant’s expense. The court granted the motion, finding the requests are not overly broad since plaintiff placed her lifestyle and activities prior to the accident directly at issue by claiming that her prior activities far exceed what she can do now. There is no burden to plaintiff since defendant has offered to hire an e-discovery vendor to access and retrieve the data. Any privacy issues can be addressed pursuant to a stipulated protective order.

Nature of Case: Personal injury – insurance bad faith

Electronic Data Involved: Social Media, Email, Text Messages

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

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

Aviles v. S&P Global, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2021)

Key Insight: Plaintiffs filed a Motion to Compel to allow them unfettered access to all information located on a server. Defendant objected, claiming that Plaintiffs had no legal right to the server, and information on the server was irrelevant, confidential and/or privileged. The Court found that the request (Motion to Compel) was overbroad and premature, and denied Plaintiffs’ Motion.

Nature of Case:Fraud, Shareholder Suit, Diversity Jurisdiction

Electronic Data Involved: Hard Drive, Server,

Case Summary

D’Agostin v. Fitness Int’l, LLC (D. Conn. May, 12, 2021)

Key Insight: The scope of discovery for Plaintiff is limited to requesting information regarding accidents involving falls in locker rooms with tile surfaces in Defendant’s facilities that occurred up to five years prior to the accident giving rise to litigation. Allowing Plaintiff to expand the scope to any tiled floor(s) within Defendant’s facilities would move discovery beyond the focal point of litigation.

Nature of Case: Premises Liability

Electronic Data Involved: N/A

Case Summary

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