On October 16, a California district court issued a declaratory judgment ordering a company to comply with Rule 34 as cited in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. Rule 34 has two specific and separate requirements: (i) “[a] party must produce documents as they are kept in the ordinary course of business or must organize and label them to correspond to the categories in the request;” and (ii) [if] a request does not specify a form for producing electronically stored information (ESI), a party must produce it in a form in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a reasonably usable forms.” In this case, the defendant served initial document requests to the company. The parties agreed to meet and discussed about how the company would produce the requested documents. Thereafter, the company produced 41,000 pages of ESI consisting of flash drive and email. The drive and email contained no custodial index, table, or categories – just all folders of files. The Court ruled that, although the company satisfied with the first requirement of Rule 34, the company failed to adhere to the second requirement because the company must (i) either organize and label each document it has produced or it shall provide custodial and other organizational information along the lines outlined above and (2) produce load files for its production containing searchable text and metadata. Venture Corp. v. Barrett, 5:13-cv-03384-PSG, WL 5305575 (N.D. Cal. Oct.16, 2014)
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Court orders company to comply with Rule 34
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