In re State Farm Lloyds (Opinion)Annotate this Case
The Supreme Court took the opportunity in these consolidated mandamus proceedings to provide further clarity regarding electronically stored information (ESI) discovery.
In this dispute, the requesting party sought ESI in native form while the responding party offered to produce the ESI in searchable static form, which the responding party asserted was more accessible and convenient given its routine business practices. The trial court ordered production in native form subject to a showing of infeasibility. The court of appeals denied mandamus relief. The Supreme Court denied the petitions for mandamus relief without prejudice, offering the responding party an opportunity to once again object to the discovery in light of this opinion, holding that evidence that a reasonably usable alternative form of ESI is readily available gives rise to the need for balancing, and if the factors outlined in this opinion preponderate against production in the requested form, the trial court may order production as requested under certain circumstances, but otherwise the responding party need only produce the data reasonably available in the ordinary course of business in reasonably usable form.