United States District Court, W.D. Missouri, Western Division
DARRICK A. SHANNON, SR., Plaintiff,
HONEYWELL FEDERAL MANUFACTURING & TECHNOLOGIES, LLC, et al., Defendants.
ORDER ON DISCOVERY DISPUTE
KAYS, CHIEF JUDGE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
an employment discrimination case. Plaintiff alleges
Defendants denied him multiple promotions as a result of a
pattern and practice of age, race, and gender discrimination,
in violation of Missouri Human Rights Act, Mo. Rev. Stat.
§ 213.010, et seq., the Age Discrimination in
Employment Act, 29 U.S.C. § 621, et seq., the
Civil Rights Act of 1866, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 1981,
et seq., and Title VII of the Civil Rights Act of
1964, as amended, 42 U.S.C. § 2000e, et seq.
before the Court is a discovery dispute concerning electronic
discovery (Docs. 35, 37, & 38). Having reviewed the
parties' memoranda, the Court finds a teleconference is
not necessary in this case. For the following reasons, the
Court grants Plaintiff's search term request only.
case centers on alleged discriminatory acts by Defendants
during the course of Plaintiff's employment. Plaintiff
alleges that he applied for and was denied multiple
promotions over the past four years, resulting in at least
$100, 000 in damages.
the last several months, the parties have diligently
partnered to determine appropriate search terms that could be
used to best search Defendants' electronically stored
information (“ESI”). However, despite this
collaboration, the parties cannot agree on how Defendants
should search its files and documents in response to
13, 2018, Defendants ran a search of its ESI (the “June
13th search”), based, at least directionally, on
Plaintiff's desired search terms. Plaintiff objected to
Defendants' search terms, but the Defendants ran the
search and produced the resulting documents. While the search
resulted in 2, 484 “hits, ” documents that
matched the search terms, it yielded only twelve unique
proposes a list of search terms that is expected to yield 7,
746 hits, 5, 262 more than Defendants' search. Defendants
estimate the cost to review the 5, 262 additional documents
is $23, 320.
requests the Court to compel Defendants to do two things: (1)
produce all the documents as a result of the June 13th
search; and (2) run a search using Plaintiff's proposed
search terms. Defendants state they have produced all the
documents from their June 13th search that are relevant and
non-privileged. Further, they oppose Plaintiff's search
terms on the basis of proportionality and speculation.
Rule 26(b)(1) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure,
“[p]arties may obtain discovery regarding any
nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party's
claim or defense and proportional to the needs of the
case.” Proportionality is weighed by considering
“the importance of the issues at stake in the action,
the amount in controversy, the parties' relative access
to relevant information, the parties' resources, the
importance of the discovery in resolving the issues, and
whether the burden or expense of the proposed discovery
outweighs its likely benefit.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(1).
Court addresses Plaintiff's second request first.
Plaintiff complains Defendants' search terms were too
limited and asks the Court to compel Defendants to run an ESI
search using his terms. Defendants oppose this request
because the more restrictive June 13th search produced many
irrelevant documents, and argue there is no reason to believe
a broader search will return any additional discoverable
material. Further, Defendants argue the cost to perform
Plaintiff's search outweighs the needs of this single
plaintiff discrimination case.
largest difference between Plaintiff's proposed search
terms and the June 13th search terms is the boolean
connectors “and” and “or.”
Plaintiff's proposed search terms relies on the less
restrictive “or, ” while the June 13th search
uses “and.” For example, the June 13th search
required the Plaintiff's first name and last
name to be within three words ...