Thursday, November 1, 2012

$200,000 in eDiscovery Costs Not Recoverable

The court excluded more than $200,000 in defendants' requested costs for in-house and vendor processing of electronic discovery. "The line between utility and the parties’ convenience is not bright, particularly given evolving technology. . . . A third tension about imposing costs under Rule 54(d) is that e-discovery is expensive. It provides an opportunity for lawyers, consultants, and vendors to inflate the need or the cost of e-discovery. . . . The court is sympathetic to [defendants'] argument that the processing was necessary to produce the discovery and that the only way to 'copy' and produce usable electronic data is to hire a vendor, capture users’ emails and files, and process, review, and produce them. But given ESI processing costs that exceed $200,000, the case law, the recent Supreme Court decision [in Taniguchi v. Kan Pacific Saipan, 132 S. Ct. 1997 (2012)], and the lack of a discussion about the costs in the ESI agreement, the court declines to award the processing costs."

Plantronics, Inc. v. Aliph, Inc., et. al., 3-09-cv-01714 (CAND October 23, 2012, Order) (Beeler, M.J.).

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