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Venable v. Dean Witter Reynolds

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Citation Edit

Venable v. Dean Witter Reynolds, 1991 WL 243250 (S.D.N.Y. Nov. 13, 1991) (not available online), aff'd, 22 F.3d 1092 (2d Cir. 1994).

Trial Court Proceedings Edit

The defendant resisted discovery of certain information that was inaccessible using the defendant's current software:

Dean Witter has computerized certain personnel information for the period 1981 or 1982 to the present. However, due to a change in computer systems in 1988, the current computer system contains information only for the years 1988 through the present. Computer information for years prior to 1988 cannot be accessed without writing a computer program to convert the data to the existing computer system. Dean Witter estimates the cost of creating such a program at $15,000.

The trial judge nonetheless ordered the defendant to produce the computerized information, stating:

Defendant is directed to produce a list of current employees who were employed in New York as a manager between 1981 and 1987, and a list of managerial employees terminated from employment in New York between 1981 and 1987, with the above information to the extent that information is available from a computerized data base. In this connection, I find that it is reasonable to require Dean Witter to take the steps necessary to access the pre-1988 data base. I am not convinced that this will be as expensive as defendant suggests; in particular, I find it inconceivable that Dean Witter cannot gain access to this data using in-house resources at moderate cost.[1]

The court ordered a remedy similar to the use of computer software or other techniques in an effort to retrieve or reconstruct documents.[2]

References Edit

  1. Id. at *5.
  2. Id. at *4.

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