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Why Fight Over Producing Metadata?
By Joshua Gilliland, Esq.
A party fighting over not producing metadata is like bringing a protective order to produce a document without ink on the paper. Metadata is part of the native file. The “Data about Data” is captured during collection and processed for production. An active effort would have to be made to strip a native file of its metadata, which arguably is not producing the discovery in the form it is ordinarily maintained at best, or spoliation of evidence at worst.
Yet these battles still happen.
Consider the following: the producing party in Younes v. 7-Eleven, Inc., brought a motion for a protective order against the production of metadata. The Court denied the protective order and ordered the production of the requested metadata. Younes v. 7-Eleven, Inc.,2015 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 33793, at *2-3 (D.N.J. Mar. 18, 2015).
The Plaintiffs sought the metadata for 38 documents and two Excel spreadsheets to identify “the date of origination, author, custodian, date of each modification and author of each modification, and to the extent available, any data which established to whom the document had been electronically distributed.” Younes, at *11.
Document Preservation: Know When to Hold `Em and Know When to Fold `Em
By Eric Robinson
The cut-throat, high stakes environment of a nail-biting poker tournament is oddly similar to the world of document preservation in litigation, investigations, and regulatory events. Though the former tends to take place in a smoke-filled, lowly lit room, and the latter on computers (with less smoke, but perhaps the same amount of nail-biting), both pastimes involve the same motto. In litigation and poker, a savvy professional must know when to hold ‘em and when to fold ‘em.
Two seasoned ediscovery professionals, Cathleen Peterson from Kroll Ontrack and Brian Corbin from JP Morgan Chase, recently collaborated to publish an informative article in the ACC Docket, Document Preservation: Know When to Hold ‘Em. As continuing advances in technology have caused a massive shift to digital document retention and preservation, legal departments need to create clear policies when it comes to document preservation in order to keep abreast of (or ahead of) the curve.