Monday, May 12, 2008

2008-05-12 Want Native Format Data? Make Sure to Ask for It

In an April 2, 2008 decision in the case of Autotech Technologies Ltd. Partnership v., Inc. --- F.R.D. ----, 2008 WL 902957 (N.D.Ill. 2008), the Court followed Magistrate Judge Facciola's line of reasoning in D'Onofrio v SFX Sports Group Inc. and held that a late "clarification" (quotes mine) is insufficient to save a defective request omitting a specific directive to produce native format data.

"It seems a little late to ask for metadata after documents responsive to a request have been produced in both paper and electronic format. Ordinarily, courts will not compel the production of metadata when a party did not make that a part of its request." See D'Onofrio, 247 F.R.D. at 48 (D.D.C.2008); Wyeth v. Impax Labs., Inc., No. Civ. A. 06-222-JJF, 248 F.R.D. 169, ----, 2006 WL 3091331, at *1-2 (D.Del.2006) (“Since the parties have never agreed that electronic documents would be produced in any particular format, [Plaintiff] complied with its discovery obligation by producing image files”). "

Held: .pdf and paper printouts sufficient. Motion to compel denied.

Bonus: Good definition of metadata in Footnote 1:

"Metadata, commonly described as “data about data,” is defined as “a set of data that describes and gives information about other data” or “information about a particular data set which describes how, when and by whom it was collected, created, accessed, or modified and how it is formatted (including data demographics such as size, location, storage requirements and media information).” It includes all of the contextual, processing, and use information needed to identify and certify the scope, authenticity, and integrity of active or archival electronic information or records. Some examples of metadata for electronic documents include: a file's name, a file's location ( e.g., directory structure or pathname), file format or file type, file size, file dates ( e.g., creation date, date of last data modification, date of last data access, and date of last metadata modification), and file permissions ( e.g., who can read the data, who can write to it, who can run it). Some metadata, such as file dates and sizes, can easily be seen by users; other metadata can be hidden or embedded and unavailable to computer users who are not technically adept. Scotts Co. LLC v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., 2007 WL 1723509, *3 n. 2 (S.D.Ohio June 12, 2007) (citations omitted)."