Jason Atchley : eDiscovery : Articulate Subpoena Costs to Call Off the Dogs in eDiscovery


jason atchley

Articulate Subpoena Costs to Call Off the Dogs in E-Discovery

ABA panel tackles e-discovery cost issues in third-party subpoena requests.

Law Technology News

May 20, 2014    |0 Comments

Farrah Pepper, executive counsel, e-discovery, General Electric Co. Farrah Pepper, executive counsel, e-discovery, General Electric Co.

The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure’s Rule 45—which outlines the subpoena process and how it relates to third party e-discovery—was the topic of a Friday panel discussion at the American Bar Association’s 8th Annual National Institute on E-Discovery, held at Proskauer Rose‘s 11 Times Square office in New York.
William McManus, a shareholder at Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, moderated the 45-minute discussion, “Is My Dog in the Fight? Cost Considerations for Third-Party E-Discovery.” A key theme was that the undue burden (read: costs) associated with third-party discovery requests must be clearly articulated to the court if you want to get the order quashed, or convince the judge that cost shifting is needed, the panelists asserted.
Litigants must emphasize third-party discovery costs to the bench, said panelist Farrah Pepper, executive counsel for discovery at General Electric Co. “We read loud and clear in the case law that if you have unspecified harm and damages, that is not going to get you very far.” When handling third-party e-discovery subpoena requests, GE calculates a cost analysis—which includes mapping out a data discovery lifecycle and hosting, among additional expenses, she said.
Other panelists included Anthony Lowe, associated general counsel at the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (aka Freddie Mac) and Martha Mazzone, vice president and associate general counsel at Fidelity Investments.
Lowe said he cites several cost elements during a motion, such as how many databases and devices will have to be tapped to pull the information; if extra code needs to be written, a document page count, collection and processing costs; and even network speed.  
Companies such as Fidelity Investments have a subpoena response unit, said Mazzone. Fidelity’s response process involves sending out a “fairly generic” objection letter within two weeks and scoping the opposing party to gauge the case’s complexity, she said.
A party can refuse to produce documents based on unreasonable burden, cost or lack of accessibility, said Mazzone. However, the burden has to be clearly illustrated.
Judge James Peck of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Southern District of New York spoke from the audience: “The greater the specificity—and that it is experienced-based as opposed to a number out of thin air—the easier it will be for the court to take it seriously,” he said, regarding third-party subpoena costs.
Amendments to Rule 45 involving non-party discovery took effect late last year, influencing where subpoenas can be served, among other changes.
Attendees received flash drives containing additional e-discovery information and PowerPoint slides. Among the (unattributed) PPT points made:
Law firms mentioned: Proskauer Rose

Read more: http://www.lawtechnologynews.com/id=1202656104302/Articulate-Subpoena-Costs-to-Call-Off-the-Dogs-in-E-Discovery-#ixzz32Lrld9iP


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