William A. Gross Construction Associates v. American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co.

256 F.R.D. 134 (2009)

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William A. Gross Construction Associates v. American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Co.

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
256 F.R.D. 134 (2009)

RW

Facts

A New York state agency (plaintiff) undertook a large construction project that led the agency and William A. Gross Construction Associates, Inc. to sue the American Manufacturers Mutual Insurance Company (defendant). Hill International (Hill), the agency’s project-management firm, was not party to the action. The parties’ lawyers, none of whom were specialists in electronic discovery (e-discovery), agreed to run a keyword search of Hill’s databases to discover relevant electronically stored information (ESI), but they could not agree on which search terms to use. The agency suggested a search string that was sure to prove inadequate, and others suggested search strings that were likely to produce too much irrelevant ESI. Nobody thought to ask Hill what terms Hill’s staffers commonly used in referring to the agency’s project. The federal district court stepped in to craft its own search-term methodology.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Peck, J.)

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