Tagged: FRCP 34(b)

Do Not Treat Rule 26(g) Certifications as a Mere Formality: Southern District of Florida Cautions Against Client ‘Self-Collection’ of ESI Without Adequate Attorney Oversight

Do Not Treat Rule 26(g) Certifications as a Mere Formality: Southern District of Florida Cautions Against Client ‘Self-Collection’ of ESI Without Adequate Attorney Oversight

In a recent decision reprimanding defense counsel’s lack of oversight of a client’s collection of data during discovery, the District Court for the Southern District of Florida issued a cautionary opinion that should serve as yet another reminder to counsel of the perils associated with allowing a client to self-collect ESI. Similar to a recent decision we addressed from the District Court of the Northern District of California, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. M1 5100 Corp., d/b/a Jumbo Supermarket, Inc. is a strong reminder that Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 should serve as a guide for the action and oversight required of counsel in the search, collection, and production of documents in response to discovery demands. In this age discrimination case, the District Court addressed plaintiff’s motion to compel. Plaintiff sought more specific discovery responses to two requests, attorney’s fees and costs in addition to the “opportunity to inspect Defendant’s ESI because, by Defendant’s counsel’s own admission, Defendant ‘self-collected’ responsive documents and information to the discovery requests without the oversight of counsel.” Cautioning against the “perils of self-collection of ESI by a party or interested person,” the District Court reminded counsel of its obligation to “have knowledge of, supervise,...

Court Denies Direct Access to Computer, Phones, and Email Account Absent a Finding of Improper Conduct or Non-Compliance With Discovery Rules 0

Court Denies Direct Access to Computer, Phones, and Email Account Absent a Finding of Improper Conduct or Non-Compliance With Discovery Rules

In a recent decision in Carolina Bedding Direct, LLC v. Downen, United States Magistrate Judge Monte C. Richardson shed light on the limitations placed on discovery by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 and the circumstances under which a requesting party will be denied wholesale access to a responding party’s computer, cell phone, and email account. The decision also reinforces that courts are unlikely to question a responding party’s certification of compliance with discovery requests absent a real showing of improper conduct, even if it is shown that the responding party failed to produce its own email and text messages that were later produced by another party.