Judge Andrews Limits Number of Custodians for Electronic Discovery

April 28, 2016

Publication| Intellectual Property

In Bradium Technologies LLC v. Microsoft Corporation, C.A. No. 15-031-RGA, Judge Andrews entered an electronic discovery order limiting the number of custodians and requiring the parties to serve separate requests for production directed to e-mail. First, the parties disagreed on the number of custodians that the parties should designate, with the plaintiff (Bradium) proposing ten custodians and the defendant (Microsoft) proposing five. The Court determined that the parties would designate 10 custodians, and thereafter, Bradium could pick its “top five.” If the custodians were not designated in the top five, the defendants were not required to treat them as custodians.

Additionally, the Court required that each party submit separate discovery requests for the production of emails, noting, “E-mail production requests shall only be propounded for specific issues and not general discovery of a product or business.” The requests must also “identify the custodian, search terms, and time frame” for the emails to be produced.

Analysis: The Court appears willing to limit the number of custodians designated for electronic discovery and will permit a separate mechanism narrowing email discovery.

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