June 13, 2012 Articles

Judge Scheindlin Shines a Light on Metadata Production

The foremost judicial authority on ESI serves up the minimum requirements for production protocols.

By Som P. Dalal

Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, well-known for her e-discovery opinions in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, 217 F.R.D. 309; 216 F.R.D. 280; 220 F.R.D. 212; and 229 F.R.D. 422, and Pension Committee of the University of Montreal v. Banc of America Securities, 2010 WL 184312 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2010), has delved once again into a thorny e-discovery issue. Judge Scheindlin authored an opinion concerning the production format of electronically stored information (ESI) and, in particular, the importance of metadata production. In National Day Laborer Organizing Network v. United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, Case No. 10-3488, Rec. Doc. 41 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 7, 2011), Judge Scheindlin outlined what she believes to be “the minimum fields of metadata that should accompany any production of a significant collection of ESI.” Id. at *6 n.41. Although Judge Scheindlin subsequently withdrew her opinion, Case No. 10-3488, Rec. Doc. 98 (S.D.N.Y. June 17, 2011), the concepts Judge Scheindlin outlined remain instructive to practitioners.

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