Defendant Must Produce Search Terms Used to Produce ESI
In National Credit Union Administration Board v. Basconi et. al., Case No. 16-455 (N.D. Ohio, Feb. 27, 2017), Plaintiff, a federal agency tasked with insuring credit unions, liquidated GIC Federal Credit Union due to its insolvency. Defendants were the accountants and accounting firm of GIC. Plaintiff alleged that Defendants ignored evidence that the financial statements of GIC were materially misstated and issued audit reports without regard for the truth or falsity of the financial statements. Plaintiff, acting in its capacity of liquidating agent for GIC, sued Defendants for professional negligence, gross negligence and breach of contract. During discovery, the parties all filed briefs and responses thereto with respect to the numerous discovery issues that arose in the case.
Once such issue was Plaintiff’s contention that Defendants’ discovery responses were deficient, in part, because Defendants failed to produce search terms for electronically stored information (ESI). Plaintiff also alleged in its response to Defendants’ brief that another dispute arose, which is that Defendants’ responses were insufficient after comparing them with the ESI from GIC and determining that Defendants’ production was “selective.” Plaintiff requested identification of all the search terms Defendants used in reviewing their ESI. Defendants responded that search terms were not used. The court ordered Defendants to produce various documents and also ordered that Defendants must produce search terms used when compiling and reviewing the ESI compelled by the order.
The court found that Plaintiff did not provide enough information to introduce any new discovery disputes and in fact did not offer any request for specific relief, and thus the court concluded the matter by listing the documents to be produced and the dates for production.