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Suarez v. Camden Property Trust

United States District Court, E.D. North Carolina, Western Division

January 16, 2020

JORGE SUAREZ, Plaintiff,
v.
CAMDEN PROPERTY TRUST, CAMDEN DEVELOPMENT, INC., and CSP COMMUNITY OWNER, LP f/k/a CSP COMMUNITY OWNER, LLC, d/b/a CAMDEN WESTWOOD, Defendants.

          Edward H. Maginnis, Karl S. Gwaltney MAGINNIS LAW, PLLC Scott C. Harris, Patrick M. Wallace WHITFIELD BRYSON & MASON LLP Attorneys for Plaintiff

          Kearns Davis N.C. State Bar No. 22014, Jennifer K. Van Zant N.C. State Bar No. 21280, D.J. O'Brien III N.C. State Bar No. 35481 Craig D. Schauer N.C. State Bar No. 41571, Jessica Thaller-Moran N.C. State Bar No. 46444 Attorneys for Defendants

          CASE MANAGEMENT ORDER (ESI)

          Robert T. Numbers, II United States Magistrate Judge

         Pursuant to the agreement of counsel, the Court ORDERS as follows:

         I. General Guidelines

         1. This Order (the “Protocol”) will govern discovery of hard copy documents and Electronically Stored Information (“ESI”) in this matter as a supplement to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and United States District Court for the Eastern District of North Carolina Local Rules.

         2. This Protocol is not intended to expand any document preservation or production requirements under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or limit any protection available to a Party under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure or the Federal Rules of Evidence. The Parties will endeavor to comply with this Protocol, but if compliance with this agreement creates an undue burden or expense, the Parties shall attempt to resolve such issues in good faith.

         3. By agreeing to this Protocol, no Party waives any rights under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26. Further, the Parties agree that the standard enumerated in Rule 37(e) will govern any issue regarding spoliation measures or sanctions in this case.

         II. DEFINITIONS

         1. “Parties” shall mean Plaintiff(s) and Defendants. “Party” shall mean any individually named Plaintiff(s) or Camden Property Trust, Camden Development, Inc., and CSP Community Owner, LP (hereafter “Camden”). To the extent that additional Parties are transferred, coordinated, or consolidated into this proceeding, this Order shall govern the continuing obligations of such additional Parties regarding preservation of documents, and ESI, on a going-forward basis.

         2. “ESI, ” for the purposes of this Agreement, shall be the same as the term “electronically stored information” in Fed.R.Civ.P. 34.

         3. “Records” shall include “documents” and “electronically stored information” as defined in Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(a) that fall within the scope of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b). Since the preservation of tangible materials other than documents shall be addressed in a separate case management order, as used herein, “Records” shall not include tangible materials.

         4. “Backup Systems” refers to computer systems used to store electronic information on magnetic tapes or other media to permit recovery of the information in the event of a disaster or equipment failure.

         5. “Backup Media, ” or “Tapes” refers to magnetic tapes or other media onto which Backup Systems store such electronic information.

         6. “Preserve” or “Preservation” shall mean taking reasonable steps to prevent the partial or full destruction, alteration, deletion, shredding, incineration, wiping, theft or mutation of Records, as well as negligent or intentional handling that would make material incomplete or inaccessible. “Preservation” is to be interpreted broadly to accomplish the goal of maintaining the integrity of all Records reasonably anticipated to be subject to discovery under Federal Rules of Civil Procedure 26, 45 and 56(e) in this action. If duplicative records exist, only one copy of that record must be preserved.

         6. “Custodians(s)” shall mean individuals who are within the custody or control of the Parties pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34 and who have discoverable ESI or documents in their possession.

         7. “Custodial File” shall mean Records produced for a given Custodian consisting of relevant, responsive, non-privileged: (1) ESI or paper documents that represent that Custodian's individual files (as opposed to departmental or company-wide files); (2) the Custodian's individual email account(s). ...


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