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California Appellate Decision: Trial Court Can Reject Expert Request for ESI in Quickbooks Format

Last month, the Court of Appeal of California issued a decision, Daus v. Howser, No. C082786, 2018 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5398 (Cal. Ct. App. Aug. 8, 2018) which denied a discovery motion seeking the production of previously produced evidence in a different format. Judge Elena Duarte found that the Plaintiff could not show prejudice because it merely argued that the additional discovery would merely facilitate the presentation of evidence to the jury.

The Plaintiff sought the production of documents in the Quickbooks format which had been produced as PDFs. The opinion cites Code Civ. Proc., § 2031.280 which states that party is not required to produce ESI in more than one form. It was found that the trial court did not abuse its discretion in declining to find an exception to this rule. It was permitted to reject the uncontradicted testimony of the Plaintiff's expert that, "it was necessary to have the information in Quickbooks and that the PDF files were insufficient." Id. at *39.

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