Washington Journal of Law, Technology & Arts


Loren M. Hall


In 2007, the District Court for the Central District of California required the preservation of data stored in random access memory (RAM), which sparked significant commentary about the rapidly expanding realm of electronically-stored discoverable information. This Article addresses the impact of Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell in the context of the duty to preserve and produce documents, and the scope of information that can be subject to e-discovery obligations. This Article also describes how the 2006 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure provide a necessary limitation—reasonableness—on the costly and unrealistic preservation, and subsequent production, of electronic information. Furthermore, this Article discusses how Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell, like several other recent federal court cases involving e-discovery, fits within a broader trend in e-discovery litigation that recognizes new forms of electronic information with the same limits of reasonableness. It closes by reviewing the important reminders given by Columbia Pictures Industries v. Bunnell, including future trends and the need for data retention policies.

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