Oot and Lim Submit Amici Briefing Opposing Court-Imposed ESI Production Format Requirements

Shook, Hardy & Bacon attorneys Patrick Oot and Daniel Lim submitted amici curiae briefing to the Texas Supreme Court on behalf of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, National Association of Mutual Insurance Companies, and Texas Association of Business, supporting a challenge to Texas state court orders requiring State Farm Lloyds to produce and redact electronic files in specified formats.

The issue arises from Texas state court multi-district insurance litigation involving hail storm damage claims. State Farm Lloyds is challenging court orders requiring the company to produce documents in “native” or “near-native” format and to redact documents using a specific type of imaging software. State Farm Lloyds asserts that the ordered discovery protocol eliminates otherwise available objections under the applicable civil procedure rules and disregards proportionality considerations.

The amici briefs (available here and here) underscore the undue burden, unnecessary risk, and unreasonable expense that the orders would have on corporate litigants who have established protocols for ESI production format and redaction. The case is an important development given the background of recent amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure emphasizing proportionality for all phases of the discovery process.

The Texas Supreme Court recently stayed the trial court orders and requested briefing from plaintiffs’ attorneys on State Farm Lloyds’ mandamus petitions.