Commercial Litigation and Arbitration

Electronic Discovery — Presumption against Production of Metadata vs. Specific Need

From Ojeda-Sanchez v. Bland Farms, LLC, 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66238 (S.D. Ga. July 31, 2009):

Defendants do not object to the production of the information in their databases, just their metadata. ***

Defendants rely upon Kentucky Speedway, LLC v. National Ass'n of Stock Car AutoRacing, Inc., 2006 WL 5097354 (E.D. Ky. Dec. 18, 2006). There the court found a general presumption against production of metadata and held that its production was not warranted absent a more particularized showing of need. Id. at *8. While such a general trend may be emerging, see Wyeth v. Impax Laboratories, Inc., 248 F.R.D. 169, 171 (D. Del. 2006), plaintiffs have shown a particularized need for the information — they need the metadata to determine how their pay was calculated. Consequently, the data must be produced in its original, native format, where possible, so that the metadata can be examined. See Discoverability of Metadata, 29 A.L.R. 6th 167. To the extent, however, that plaintiffs seek production of the information in Excel format, plaintiffs are excused if the files are too large to export.

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