Brief Fact Summary. Plaintiff, Laura Zubulake, brought gender discrimination and wrongful termination suits against Defendants, UBS Warburg LLC et al., and she sought access to emails that were stored and archived by Defendants.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A court will weigh the cost of accessing the electronic data using a comprehensive set of factors, and will determine whether the data should be available for discovery, and which party to place the cost of the discovery.
Held. The court looked at the proportionality test of Rule 26(b)(2) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and applied it to the electronic communication at issue. Any electronic data that is as accessible as other documentation should have traditional discovery rules applied. For less accessible data, a cost-shifting analysis will be used, and Defendants should take a representative sample to determine the value of the information in that data. The court offered a seven-factor test that is based on traditional discovery rules.
Discussion. The court listed an extensive amount of factors, such as the amount in controversy, the stakes in the litigation, etc., which emphasizes the case-by-case nature of the analysis.