Tag: Proportionality

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America West Bank Members v. State of Utah (D. Utah 2021)
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Axis Insurance Company v. American Specialty Insurance & Risk Services, Inc. (N.D. Ind. 2021)
3
Allen v. PPE Casino Resorts Maryland, LLC (D. Md. 2021)
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Aviles v. S&P Global, Inc. (S.D.N.Y. 2021)
5
Boegh v. Harless (W.D. Ky. 2021)
6
Benebone LLC v. Pet Qwerks, Inc. (C.D. Cal. Feb. 18, 2021)
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Oppenheimer v. Episcopal Communicators (Western District of North Carolina, 2020)
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9
US EEOC v The George Washington University (D.D.C. 2020)
10
Simpson v. J.L. Guess et al. (Middle District of Florida, 2020)

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

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

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

Boegh v. Harless (W.D. Ky. 2021)

Key Insight: The pro se plaintiff was ordered to produce social media (Facebook) content relating to the events at issue in the amended complaint. Based on his public Facebook posts, plaintiff commented extensively on the case and identified evidence and witnesses. Plaintiff argued that defendants already had the information from the public posts, but the court found there is a strong indication plaintiff was withholding relevant and discoverable evidence that was private in his account.

Nature of Case: Civil rights – personal injury

Electronic Data Involved: Social media

Case Summary

Benebone LLC v. Pet Qwerks, Inc. (C.D. Cal. Feb. 18, 2021)

Key Insight: Court granted defendants’ motion to compel plaintiff to produce Slack messages used as part of its internal business communications. Despite the potentially 30,000 Slack messages to review, the court found compelling the testimony from defendants’ forensic expert who stated there are a number of tools and software vendors that have streamlined review and production of Slack messages. Further, searches could be limited to certain Slack channels, users and custodians to very streamline the volume of messages for review. Thus, “requiring review and production of Slack messages by Benebone is generally comparable to requiring search and production of emails and is not unduly burdensome or disproportional to the needs of this case – if the requests and searches are appropriately limited and focused.”

Nature of Case: Intellectual property

Electronic Data Involved: Slack messages

Case Summary

Oppenheimer v. Episcopal Communicators (Western District of North Carolina, 2020)

Key Insight: A non-moving party’s objections to discovery need to be more than boilerplate and must be specific

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement (DMCA)

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic documents generally

Keywords: Copyright, DMCA, photographs, Oppenheimer,

View Case Opinion

Key Insight: Court rejected additional discovery based off proportionality and discovery already produced. There was no additional proof of unproduced, relevant texts.

Electronic Data Involved: Text Messages

Keywords: additional discovery, proportionality

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

Simpson v. J.L. Guess et al. (Middle District of Florida, 2020)

Key Insight: Proportionality need for records not related to the claim; Relevance; Access to records; Parties resources; Whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs it’s likely benefit

Nature of Case: Prisoner Pro Se – Unconstitutional use of excessive force by corrections officers

Electronic Data Involved: Hard copy (discipline records/ Mail logs); collection

Keywords: Compel; Sanctions; Declaration of counsel; Malicious and sadistic purpose to inflict harm; State of Mind; Veracity; narrowed requests; meet and confer;

View Case Opinion

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