Judge McMahon of the Southern District of New York rejected a motion for protective order sought by KPMG to limit the number of computer hard drives KPMG was required to preserve during litigation.Pippins v. KPMG LLP, No. 11-Civ-0377 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 3, 2012). The plaintiffs alleged overtime-pay statutory violations against KPMG concerning thousands of junior employees. KPMG contended that the cost of preserving the hard drive of each employee was unduly burdensome – it had already preserved 2,500 hard drives at a cost of more than $1.5 million – and asked that it be permitted to retain only a “sample” of the hard drives. KPMG had, however, refused to permit the plaintiffs to examine any hard drives before filing its motion. The court held that the “sample” approach could be permissible under the “proportionality” test for discovery pursuant to Rule 26(b)(2), but it could make no proportionality determination here because KPMG had refused to produce any sample hard drives, thus eliminating the court’s ability to balance the costs versus the benefits of preservation.