No Resolution Reached in ‘Pippins v. KPMG’ Discovery Dispute

Law Technology News - Evan Koblentz
January 11, 2012

Talk of an imminent resolution to the controversial discovery dispute in Pippins v. KPMG was unfounded, as the sides opened discussions but were still unable to agree, memos from both parties this week state.

The dispute, by now familiar to all in the legal technology sector, is about how many computer hard drives to evaluate. Pippins’ side won a Nov. 2011 ruling by Magistrate Judge James Cott in favor of using all available drives, while KPMG argued to use 100 sampled drives. The decision caused an uproar and KPMG appealed.

“[The parties] attempted to negotiate a resolution of their pending discovery dispute. Those attempts were unsuccessful,” Sidley Austin’s Steven Catlett wrote, for KPMG. “In KPMG’s view, the Decision and Order does not obviate the dispute; if anything, it confirms that the preservation order entered by Magistrate Judge Cott on October 11, 2011 must be vacated.”

However, on Pippins’ side, “Plaintiffs respectfully submit that the Court should overrule the Defendant’s Objections without prejudice and order the parties to appear before the Magistrate Judge for further proceedings on the issue … which might eliminate the need for the Court to rule on the Defendant’s Objections at all.”

“Defendant has refused to entertain any compromise that does not include Plaintiff’s agreement that the Magistrate Judge should ‘withdraw’ his Order or otherwise wipe it off of the books,” Outten & Golden’s Justin M. Swartz continued.

Attorneys for both sides said they have not yet heard back from McMahon.