Does a Litigant Withholding Metadata from Production Have to Log That Metadata?

January 4, 2006

Metadata (essentially invisible data often accompanying electronically transmitted documents) has been the subject of a number of judicial analyses over the past several years. One recent decision provides further insight.

In Williams v. Sprint/United Management Co., 230 F.R.D. 640 (D. Kan. 2005), the court held that a party stripping privileged metadata from a document produced in discovery (such as metadata showing a lawyer’s involvement in drafting the document) must log that metadata on its privilege log.

As courts increasingly focus on the nuances of electronic discovery, additional decisions undoubtedly will provide further analysis on issues such as metadata.