DISCOVERY OF METADATA

The United States’ Federal Rules of Civil Procedure do not explicitly address the issue of whether producing metadata is required as part of the discovery material; metadata is informally defined as “the data about the data.” The issue of production of metadata in discovery proceedings, however, has been addressed by the U.S. courts in a variety of cases. Generally, the consensus of the courts appears to be that metadata is to be produced upon discovery only when it is necessary and relevant to the proceedings.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

Have Federal courts held that there is an obligation on the parties to produce metadata with respect to all electronic documents produced upon discovery?
Where a party specifically requests production of metadata, in what form should the disclosing party produce the requested documents?
At what stage in the proceedings must production of metadata be requested?

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