In Juster Acquisition Co. v. North Hudson Sewerage Authority, No. 12-3427 (D.N.J. Feb. 11, 2013), the district court denied the defendant’s motion to shift the costs for an e-discovery search requested by plaintiff, which entailed sixty-seven electronic keyword searches. The magistrate judge held that cost-shifting “should only be considered when electronic discovery imposes an undue burden or expense on the responding party.” The court followed the Zubulake decisions in holding that data searches are generally not considered unduly burdensome if the data to be searched is in an “accessible format” which, according to the court, includes “active, online data, near-line data, and offline storage/archives.” “Inaccessible” data, in contrast, includes “[b]ackup tapes and erased, fragmented, or damaged data.” The court further found it significant that the moving party had not yet attempted to run the keyword searches, and thus “neither [that party] nor anybody else can know whether the ESI word searches will turn up information that would have been available from any other source.”
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Court denies fee-shifting request for e-discovery
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