Something that is slightly interesting (maybe more for me and some law nerds) is a recent Supreme Court decision which if I interpret this corrently now means that under discovery you can request the creation of documents and the filtering of data to create new datasets/documents. eircom and Dome Telecom had a nice banging of heads in the Courts and one argument about getting stuff under discovery went all the way upstairs to the Supreme Court. Both the High Court and Supreme Court said that yes, under discovery you can demand the creation of documents and data sets from much larger sets and while a document did not exist, you can in fact have one created so you can get the data extracted that is needed for your case. Apparently this is the first time that electronic data on harddrives can be requested under discovery. Sounds like an awful amount of work too for eircom.
Here’s what eircom were arguing. Severe legalese alert:
In bringing this appeal the defendant argues that the learned High Court judge erred in law or in fact, or on a mixed question of law and fact, in holding:-
(1) That the power of the High Court to order discovery of documents extends to directing a party to create documents for the purpose of the within proceedings
(2) That the power of the High Court to order discovery of documents extends to directing a party to create documents that do not exist at the time the said order is made.
(3) That the creation of the documents directed by the High Court does not impose a disproportionate burden on the defendant /appellant where in order to comply with the said order it would be required:
â€¢ To extract in excess of 20 billion call data records from the tapes on which they are currently stored
â€¢ To record the said records onto a parallel database
â€¢ To collate and analyse the records on the parallel database in order to collate them with the 1800 freephone numbers the subject matter of the said order for discovery
â€¢ To create therefrom a document containing a report of the total monthly volume of freephone minutes trafficked per month from 31st day of August 1999 to 23rd day of December, 2003, in respect of each 1800 number by reference to access method by the defendant to international carriers- limited for the time being to those identified and set forth in the schedule hereto where the volume of minutes trafficked to that international carrier in any given month exceeded 5,000 minutes;