eDiscovery Daily Blog

State eDiscovery Rules: Oklahoma Adopts Amendments to Rules for eDiscovery


Though the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure in December of 2006 have affected how discovery of ESI is handled in Federal courts, lawyers who practice exclusively in state court cases may not have had to consider rules for handling of ESI in their cases.  Some states have adopted civil procedure rules for eDiscovery; others have not.

Effective today, one state that has adopted new amendments to their Rules of Civil Procedure is Oklahoma.  Reagan DeWitt-Henderson of Litgistix Business Solutions, based in Tulsa, has written a terrific article that will be published in this month’s Tulsa Lawyer that addresses the Oklahoma rules changes in detail.  To access the article online, click here.

Highlights of the changes (as discussed in the article):

  • ESI is Added to the List of Obtainable Discovery (12 O.S. § 3226).
  • Only Reasonably Accessible Data to be Produced (12 O.S. § 3226): ESI must be “reasonably accessible” or else good cause must be shown for a court order to require its production.  Parties will be required to produce ESI, assuming the ESI sought is not unreasonably cumulative or overly difficult to obtain.
  • ESI Category Added as Form of Production that Can be Specified (12 O.S. § 3234): This rule is amended specifically to list ESI as data that can be requested.  Also, the producing party must generally state the form(s) of production it intends to use, which is significant as form of production (e.g., native files or scanned images, with or without metadata) determines the extent to which the collection is searchable and whether expensive conversion is required to make it searchable.
  • Option to Produce Business Records in Lieu of Answering Interrogatories Now Includes ESI (12 O.S. § 3233): However, a producing party may have to provide proprietary software or technical support to make the ESI useable to the other side or provide the ESI in a format that does not require proprietary software, or uses a free reader like Adobe Acrobat.
  • Must Address ESI in Mandatory Meet & Confer (12 O.S. § 3226): Lawyers must confer to address discovery issues, including issues related to ESI, but reporting to the judge is optional, unless so ordered.
  • “Clawback” of Confidential & Privilege Information After Unintentional Production (12 O.S. § 3226): "Clawback" of potentially privileged/confidential information is now supported, assuming the reasonable steps must have been taken to prevent the production of this material.
  • Third Party Subpoenas (12 O.S. § 2004.1): Many of the same provisions added also apply to third party subpoenas, including production of ESI, form of production and “clawback” of inadvertent productions.
  • Protection from Sanctions for Document Destruction from Good Faith Procedures (12 O.S. § 3237): Addresses the “safe harbor” provision for not providing ESI lost as a result of the routine, good-faith operation of systems but requires implementation of a “litigation hold” when the duty to preserve arises which may include suspending such operations.

Thanks to Reagan and our friends at Litgistix for such a comprehensive article about the Oklahoma rules changes!  Over the next several weeks, we will look at other states that have adopted similar rules and status of states that have not yet done so.

So, what do you think?  Wondering where your state stands?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.