Court Considers Question of “Discovery About Discovery”
In the wrongful death case, Ruiz-Bueno, III v. Scott, No. 2:12-cv-0809 (2013 WL 6055402(S.D.Ohio)), plaintiff Ruiz-Bueno sought discovery on the efforts made by defendant Scott to comply with earlier plaintiff eDiscovery requests, specifically the procedures and methods Scott used to performed eDiscovery searches for responsive documents. Defendant Scott objected to plaintiff’s interrogatories regarding its methods and searches for production contending that – “This interrogatory seeks irrelevant information which is not related to any of the claims or defenses in this case and which is not likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. The Defendants’ discovery methods have no bearing on any aspect of this case.”
The Court, in reviewing plaintiff’s motion to compel, framed the issues as one involving a question of “Discovery about Discovery,” and whether this was permissible in general and under the facts of the specific case. The Court also lamented the lack of cooperation by defendants and the inability to collaborate, as required in Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f).
The Court ultimately rejected defendant’s assertion that plaintiff’s discovery methods were impermissible pointing out that Rule 26(b)(1) could not be read in the restrictive manner suggested by defendant and cited to multiple case law to support allowing interrogatories on discovery procedures.