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Proportionality Doctrine Reduces E-Discovery Costs and Abuses

In a recent commercial breach of contract case, the plaintiffs sued for $10 million in alleged damages. They submitted a 25-page e-discovery request, asking for all electronically stored information (ESI) covering more than 100 topics and 300 search terms.

Drawing the Line

No bright-line rule establishes when an e-discovery request is in proportion to the case and when it is out of proportion.

Preservation Considerations

Some experts suggest that the proportionality principle may mitigate the burden of preserving all ESI to avoid possible court sanctions. But in the recent decision in Southern District of New York, Orbit One Communications, Inc. v. Numerex Corp., Magistrate Judge James Francis sounded a warning.

Michael Kozubek

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