Philip N. Yannella


Recent federal cases taxing hefty eDiscovery costs on the losing party, usually the plaintiffs, underscore the "winner-takes-all" scenario resulting from the federal law that allows the "taxation of costs" and Rule 54 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, allowing the "prevailing party" to recover costs, except attorneys fees. Not long after a federal judge in Pittsburgh imposed a $367,000 eDiscovery bill on a party, a judge in Philadelphia told a losing plaintiff it must pay a $576,000 eDiscovery charge that the opposing parties incurred in meeting discovery demands. Increasingly, courts are deciding that eDiscovery costs are covered by the federal law that allows taxation of costs.

Philip N. Yannella, a partner at Ballard Spahr in Philadelphia who heads the firm's E-Discovery and Data Management Group, says the trend is not confined to big cases. The growing phenomenon, he says, could dramatically shift the negotiating dynamic between those requesting voluminous information and those producing it.

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E-Discovery and Data Management