Considering Motion to Compel, Court Asks Whether Discovery Responses Have Been “Fair,” by K&L Gates
Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Sys., Inc., No. 5:13-cv-03999-BLF, 2014 WL 5321095 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 17, 2014)
In this patent infringement case, Defendant objected to ‘producing custodial email from archival systems when [the Plaintiff] is not able to do the same in return.’ Plaintiff filed a motion to compel. In assessing the motion, the court recognized potential limitations on discovery, pursuant to Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(C)(iii). The court indicated that, ‘[r]educed to its essence, Rule 26(b)(2)(iii) [sic] requires this court to decide: have Blue Coat’s discovery responses been fair?’ In response, the court concluded that the defendant’s responses had ‘largely been fair, but not entirely.’ Turning specifically to the question of custodial emails, the court reasoned:
Where Blue Coat has been less than fair is with respect to archival email for its eight custodians. Blue Coat may largely be in the right that it should not have to dig through legacy systems when Finjan is unable to the same for its custodians. But one party’s discovery shortcomings are rarely enough to justify another’s. And here, at least with respect to documents mentioning Finjan—the one specific category of documents Finjan could identify that it needed from archived email—Finjan’s request is reasonable.
A full copy of the court’s opinion is available here.