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§ 1920 and e-discovery costs

We had noted a trend of courts being willing to use 28 U.S.C. §1920, which permits cost-shifting of the expenses of "making copies," to the much greater costs of e-discovery by broadly construing the meaning of "making copies." In the first appellate decision on the topic, Race Tires America v. Hoosier Racing Tire Corp., the Third Circuit has rejected that broad interpretation, and held that only $30,000 of a $365,000 e-discovery expense fell within the parameters of §1920. The opinion has interesting language on the expense of e-discovery in the first footnote. More at WSJ Law Blog.

Relatedly: Professor William Hubbard testifies about the costs of discovery, with particular attention paid to the long tail.

Also relatedly: Steve Susman argues for "mutual disarmament" in the discovery game. Of course, that sort of voluntary agreement is only possible in the scenario where anticipated discovery costs are not asymmetric.

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Rafael Mangual
Project Manager,
Legal Policy

Manhattan Institute


Published by the Manhattan Institute

The Manhattan Insitute's Center for Legal Policy.