Reasons for judgement were released last week by Magistrate Judge Peggy Leen ordering UFC parent company, Zuffa LLC, to release more documents to the plaintiffs as part of their discovery obligations.
Judge Leen provided the following reasons setting out the parameters of the dispute and ordered as follows:
The parties disagree as to identity and number of Strikeforce Custodians whose documents should be reviewed. Plaintiffs requested that Defendant produce documents from 5 of the 12 Strikeforce Custodians: Scott Coker, Andrew Ebel, Mike Aframowitz, Richard Chou and Shannon Knapp. Zuffa agreed to accept two of Plaintiffs’ proposed custodians, Scott Coker and Richard Chou and proposed a third custodian, Bob Cook, but refused to include Ebel, Aframowitz and Knapp…
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED:
1. Subject to the provisions of this Order, Zuffa shall produce all responsive nonprivileged documents for:
a. each of the Ordered Custodians; and
b. five Strikeforce Custodians identified as Scott Coker, Andrew Ebel, Mike Aframowitz, Richard Chou and Shannon Knapp. (“FTC Ordered Set”).
2. After application of the winnowing and deduplication protocols, Zuffa shall apply the following search term protocols to the FTC Ordered Set:
a. the search terms used to create the Zuffa Review Set (“Zuffa’s Search Terms”);and
b. Plaintiffs’ Revised Search Terms. Except however, Zuffa shall not be required to apply the following search terms to the Strikeforce Custodians: Strikef%, “Explosion Entertainment”, Coker, Knapp, Chou, Ellner, email@example.com, SF, Kenn, Scott and Cook.
3. Consistent with prior orders and/or agreements of the parties in this action, Zuffa shall also review the following categories of documents within the FTC Ordered Set without the use of search terms:
a. emails with attachments from firstname.lastname@example.org;
b. emails and attachments if forwarded by a custodian to a Zuffa employee or from a Zuffa employee to a custodian that contains the phrase “Message From” in the subject line;
c. audio and video files; and
d. text messages, including those collected from devices and those sent via email servers.
If in the application of the terms of Paragraph 3 of this Order, unanticipated issue arise that create a demonstrable burden, Defendant will notify Plaintiffs and the parties will meet and confer in an effort to resolve such unanticipated issues. In the event that the parties cannot reach a resolution, they may submit the issue to the Court for resolution.
4. No later than May 27, 2016, the Parties shall meet and confer to evaluate whether additional methods, including but not limited to the development of search terms tailored to the Strikeforce Custodians’ documents, should to be applied to the Strikeforce Custodians’ documents in order to identify additional documents responsive to the subpoenas Plaintiffs issued pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 45 in an attempt to obtain documents regarding Strikeforce. On June 3, 2016, the parties shall submit a Joint Status Report of no more than 10 pages, with no more than 5 pages allocated to each party, updating the Court regarding their findings and proposals.
5. Zuffa’s production of the FTC Ordered Set shall not be bound by the June 1, 2016 deadline for substantial completion of the production of documents. Zuffa shall substantially complete production of the FTC Ordered Set, as required, pursuant to the terms of this Order, within 90 days.
IT IS SO ORDERED.