Last Friday, the Texas Supreme Court denied mandamus relief in a high-profile dispute about the proper format in which to produce electronic records, but provided extensive guidance about the framework and factors that should decide such disputes, and remanded for reconsideration in light of that guidance. In a nutshell: “Under our discovery rules, neither party may dictate the form of electronic discovery. The requesting party must specify the desired form of production, but all discovery is subject to the proportionality overlay embedded in our discovery rules and inherent in the reasonableness standard to which our electronic-discovery rule is tethered. The taproot of this discovery dispute is whether production in native format is reasonable given the circumstances of this case. Reasonableness and its bedfellow, proportionality, require a case-by-case balancing of jurisprudential considerations,which is informed by factors the discovery rules identify as limiting the scope of discovery and geared toward the ultimate objective of “obtain[ing] a just,fair, equitable and impartial adjudication” for the litigants “with as great expedition and dispatch at the least expense . . . as may be practicable.” In re State Farm Lloyds, No. 15-903 (Tex. May 26, 2017).
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