eDiscovery Daily Blog

eDiscovery Law: Texas Model Order for Patent eDiscovery Now In the Public Comment Phase


In a blog post last October, we discussed the new model order proposed by Federal Circuit Chief Judge Randall Rader as a measure against the "excesses" of eDiscovery production. At that time, the "Model Order on E-Discovery in Patent Cases" had been unanimously voted on by the Federal Circuit Advisory Council and, as a result, could significantly alter the way discovery materials are used in such cases.  This version of the model order is included in proposed local rule amendment GO-12-06 for the Eastern District of Texas.  The amendment has been approved by the judges of the district, subject to public comment, the deadline for which is March 23, a little over two weeks from now.

Reviewed by a working group of the Eastern District's Local Rules Advisory Committee at the court's request to determine whether it should be included in the district's local rules, the working group recognized the "substantial work that went into the [Federal Circuit's] Model Order" and used it as its "baseline." The district created a redlined version of the Federal Circuit model order and provides detailed commentary explaining the reasons for the changes to the Federal Circuit model.  It has some fairly significant changes, some of which include:

  • Cost Shifting: Item #3, addressing circumstances for considering cost shifting, was stricken;
  • ESI Production Parameters: A new item #5 has been added to address production parameters, including document image format in TIFF, text-searchable documents, and native files (the way it’s currently written, you can apparently only request native files after receiving a TIFF production, absent agreement of the parties).  This section also notes that backup preservation and collection and preservation from voice mail and mobile devices is not necessary (absent a showing of good cause);
  • Email Production Requests: Item #7, indicating that email production requests will be only propounded for specific issues instead of general discovery, was stricken.  The next item, related to specifics of email production requests was expanded quite a bit to address information to be exchanged prior to email production and also allow one deponent per producing party to determine “the proper custodians, proper search terms, and proper time frame for e-mail production requests”;
  • Email Production Scope: Language was added to indicate that email requests will “identify the custodian, search terms, and time frame”.  It also bumped up the limit from five to eight custodians per producing party for each request and bumped up the limit from five to ten search terms per custodian per party.

It will be interesting to see whether any additional modifications are implemented as a result of the public comment period.

So, what do you think?  Will model orders become popular as a way to limit the eDiscovery in other types of cases?  Are model orders a good idea or are they too limiting? Please share any comments you might have or if you'd like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.