Defendant Does Not Provide Compelling Argument for Not Providing Native Format Production (Connecticut)

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Saliga v. Chemtura Corp., 2013 WL 6182227 (D. Conn. Nov. 25, 2013).

In this discrimination case, the court dealt with two parties who failed to agree on numerous discovery matters. The most prominent issue was the plaintiff’s motion to compel production of emails in native format. The defendant responded that its standard practice was to produce ESI in searchable PDF or TIFF, and argued that there was “no basis or need” to produce the emails in native format. The court referred to Fed. R. Civ. P. 34(b)(1)(C) for its analysis, and found that the requesting party may specify the form in which ESI is to be produced. Under the framework of Rule 34(b)(1)(C), the court noted that the defendant failed to raise “compelling” reasons—such as undue burden or prejudice—in its objection, and ordered production of the emails in native format. In addition to the production dispute, the court also considered the use of specific search terms, another topic the parties could not agree upon, and ordered the parties to use the search terms proposed by the plaintiff. Finally, the court denied the plaintiff’s request for the defendant to provide detailed data collection information because no specific allegations were raised. Notably, the court expressed frustration with the parties’ inability to cooperate, and repeatedly reminded the parties that they should be able to agree upon discovery without the court’s intervention.