Doug Austin, eDiscovery Today: Putting Context into Discovery of Messages


Extract from Doug Austin’s article “Putting Context into Discovery of Messages”

The session at ILTACON 2021 last week that I moderated was titled Better Together? E-discovery with Teams and Other Collaboration Platforms and we discussed discovery considerations associated with collaboration apps like Slack, Teams and Zoom. We also discussed a few cases tied to the topic, including Sandoz, Inc. v. United Therapeutics Corp., which was on the  production of text messages. 

Why did we discuss a case involving text messages in an educational session about discovery of collaboration platforms? I’ll explain.

Contextual Text Messages

In the Sandoz case, the defendant sought an order compelling one plaintiff (RareGen) to produce contextual text messages according to the same rules adhered to by the defendant and another plaintiff (Sandoz) and consistent with the Special Master’s March 2021 Order (before that order, those parties had not produced them either). The Special Master rejected plaintiff RareGen’s timeliness objection regarding the motion to compel and ordered them to produce contextual text messages. It’s a simple case ruling.

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