In Burd v. Ford Motor Co.,No. 13-cv-20976 (S.D.W. Va. July 8, 2015), the court refused to quash Rule 30(b)(6) deposition topics directed at the defendant’s efforts to preserve and gather responsive electronic documents.  The defendant had largely refused to provide the plaintiff with lists of search terms or detailed explanations for how certain custodians gathered documents, arguing that “it should be permitted to conduct the searches as it sees fit, so long as the searches are reasonable.”  The defendant also argued that the court should preclude “discovery on discovery” absent a showing a spoliation or other misconduct.  The court rejected those arguments in a long discussion of the “spirit and purposes” of the federal discovery rules.  The court held that the rules seek to reduce “gamesmanship” and insure “forthright sharing of all parties to a case with the aim of expediting case progress, minimizing burden and expense, and removing contentiousness as much as practicable.”  The court held that Rule 26 “anticipates a sharing of facts and, if necessary, discovery about the sources to be searched for ESI.”  Therefore, “generic objections to ‘discovery on discovery’ and ‘non-merits’ discovery are outmoded and unpersuasive.”  Moreover, the court held that the defendant had “cloaked the circumstances surrounding its document search and retrieval in secrecy, leading to skepticism about the thoroughness and accuracy of that process,” which the court held “violates the principles of an open, transparent discovery process.”