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Case shelved under Reasonableness

NY Judge Issues Stern Warning Regarding Discovery Requests

Fischer v. Forrest
S.D.N.Y. February 28, 2017
Why This Case Is Important

Don’t say you weren’t warned. Federal judge tells parties to adhere to new Rule 34 by stating grounds for objections with specificity or else be sanctioned.

Overview

 In this copyright infringement case concerning honey harvesting, Judge Andrew Peck, a leading expert on e-discovery best practices, wrote startling commentary in his court opinion regarding the non-compliance with Rule 34. What led him to this startling opinion is stated below: 

The defendants made 17 general objections in their Rule 34 response. These general, boilerplate objections amounted to written statements like “overly broad and unduly burdensome” without offering specifics. Additionally, the defendants referenced old language which is no longer stated in Rule 34 (likely to lead to the discovery of relevant, admissible evidence) and never stated when discovery productions would be made. 

Based on these actions, Judge Andrew Peck issued a “wake-up call to the Bar in this district.” 

Ruling:
  • WAIVER OF ALL OBJECTIONS.“From now on in cases before this Court, any discovery response that does not comply with Rule 34’s requirements to state objections with specificity will be deemed a waiver of all objections (except as to privilege),” stated Judge Peck in his discovery order.
  • DON’T USE BOILERPLATE OBJECTIONS. The use of boilerplate language violates Rule 34. In response to the boilerplate objections used in this case, Judge Peck asked, “Why is it burdensome? How is it overly broad? This language tells the court nothing."
  • LEVERAGE ECA MORE.To prevent yourself from using boilerplate objections, you need more information about the case sooner, so you can specify why you’re objecting. Look into ways to update and accelerate your ECA process in order to get case information sooner and metrics for justifying burden.
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Download the PDF version of Fischer v. Forrest case analysis here.

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