Tuesday, December 30, 2008

California e-discovery news

The California Assembly is taking another shot at an e-discovery bill. The Governor vetoed a similar bill earlier this year. There are some interesting parts of the bill, California Assembly Bill 5:

"The Civil Discovery Act requires any documents produced in response to an inspection demand to be produced as they are kept in the usual course of business, or be organized and labeled to correspond with the categories in the demand."

"This bill would make this provision applicable, in addition, to documents produced in response to a demand for copying, testing, or sampling. The bill would furthermore provide that if a party responding to a demand for production of electronically stored information objects to a specified form for producing the information, or if no form is specified in the demand, the responding party shall state in its response the form in which it intends to produce each type of information. In general if a demand for production does not specify a form or forms for producing a type of electronically stored information, the responding party would be required to produce the information in the form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or in a form that is reasonably usable, but need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form."

As with anything in government, you will need to know exactly what you are asking for and how you'd like it returned. Ask for the "video evidence" of the harassment that was caught on the company's CCTV, and you may get the proprietary data with no way of playing it back; especially if the responding party "need not produce the same electronically stored information in more than one form."

As California tends to be a leader in this type of law, you might want to read the text of the bill. Your state may not go this way, but then again ...

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