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Quinby v. WestLB AG

United States District Court for the Southern District of Missouri
245 F.R.D. 94 (S.D.N.Y. 2006)


Facts

Quinby (plaintiff) filed a gender discrimination claim against her former employer, WestLB AG (defendant). Quinby requested that WestLB AG (West) produce all emails from 19 current and former West employees that contained certain search terms. West objected on the grounds that the request was overly broad and unduly burdensome. The parties went to the magistrate judge to resolve their disagreement over the scope of electronic discovery. The judge limited the request to 17 employees and fewer search terms. It was West’s routine to delete an employee’s emails from the accessible database when the employee left West. West stored former employees’ emails only on backup tapes. West had to restore backup tapes to produce the requested emails from six former employees. West hired a consultant (Kroll) to restore and search the backup tapes. Kroll charged West $181,013.28 to restore and search the tapes, a 25 percent premium to expedite, and $5,413.76 to produce some emails in a different format. West moved to shift the cost of obtaining the emails of these six former employees from the backup tapes. The court granted West’s motion to shift the cost of the electronic discovery in part, allowing West to get back 30 percent of what it cost to produce one of the employee’s emails from the backup tapes.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Pitman, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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