Magistrate Judge John Facciola, sitting in the District of Columbia, expressed frustration over the plaintiff’s use of boiler-plate discovery requests failing to specify the desired form of electronically-stored information (ESI), and the parties failure to meet and confer at the early stages of the litigation to discuss how e-discovery would take place. After e-mails had been printed and produced in hard-copy format, and then converted to TIFF, the court ordered them re-produced in native format. “Though plaintiff’s instruction is hopelessly imprecise and defendant could colorably argue that it should be interpreted to include several different formats, no reasonable person can honestly believe that hard copy is one of them. For hard copy to be an acceptable format, one would have to believe that defendant, in its day to day operations, keeps all of its electronic communications on paper. There is no evidence in the record that defendant operates in this manner, and no suggestion that such a practice would be anything but incredible. Therefore, even though I can’t say I know what plaintiff has asked for, I can say what they have not asked for, and that is what they got.” At the same time, while the defendant would have had to incur the cost of privilege review had it produced the e-mails in native format in the first place, “since both parties went through the same stop sign, it appears to me that they both should pay for the crash,” and the court ordered the plaintiff to pay for one-half of the privilege re-review. Covad Comm. Co. v. Revonet, Inc., 254 F.R.D. 147 (D.D.C. 2008).
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