This District is proactive in attempting to avoid an onslaught of e-discovery disputes. In 2003, Chief Judge Robinson formed an e-Discovery committee to assist in the formulation of a default standard in the event the parties cannot agree on the form and manner of e-discovery. This default standard provides that e-discovery will be the subject of the Rule 26(f) conference as well as the Rule 16 scheduling conference. The initial default standard has been updated and a copy of the 2011 default standard can be found to the right.
Parties should expect to identify custodians of electronic materials as well as a person responsible for that party's electronic document retention policies. An e-discovery liaison must also be designated to facilitate communication and cooperation between the parties in e-discovery matters. It is important to note that there is a deadline embedded in paragraph 7 of these default standards which states that "Within seven (7) days of identifying the relevant custodians, .... each partys counsel shall file a statement of compliance [that the procedures discussed in the default standard have been implemented] with the Court."
The default standard provides for timing of e-discovery as well as the use of search methodology to control costs and limit expense. Unless the parties agree otherwise, electronic documents shall be produced as text searchable image files in PDF or TIFF. The producing party is required to preserve the integrity of the electronic document's contents, including its metadata. To avoid issues relating to spoliation, the default standard suggests the appropriateness of a Rule 30(b)(6) deposition of the parties' retention coordinator. There is a pull-back or claw-back provision relating to inadvertently produced documents. Generally, the costs of e-discovery will be on the producing party; however, cost-shifting will be considered upon a showing of good cause.
eDiscovery Default Standard