E.D. Tex.: Cloned Discovery from Another Case Is Improper
Last month, Magistrate Judge Caroline M. Craven issued a decision, Travelpass Group v. Caesars Entm't Corp., No. 5:18-cv-153-RWS-CMC, 2020 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 26558 (E.D. Tex. Jan. 16, 2020) denying the Defendants' joint motion to compel Travelpass to produce documents it produced to the FTC and to Expedia in a separate arbitration case. These documents were already collected and reviewed on an electronic platform. Travelpass contested the Defendants' failure to specify search terms; custodian names; and date ranges for refining the FTC and Expedia productions in compliance with the discovery order, and stated that the production would be burdensome because different law firms handled the FTC and Expedia productions.
The E-Discovery order issued by the Court requires that parties make specific requests for email productions, and that requests for non-email ESI have proportional and reasonable limitations. Judge Craven concluded that the E-Discovery order covered email productions made in other case, and also stated that, "asking for all documents produced in another matter is not generally proper." Id. at *17. Cloned discovery is only permitted when the fact of the production of the documents in another case is relevant to the present case.
". . . the Court finds that an informal request that seeks wholesale duplicates of discovery produced in other litigation is improper as failing to make the requisite showing of relevance. Defendants are not entitled to the wholesale reproduction of all of the FTC Documents and Expedia Documents simply because there may be overlap between the issues in those cases and those in this case." Id. at *20.