Buccaneer Energy (USA) Inc. v. Gunnison Energy Corporation et al
ORDER DETERMINING COSTS The Plaintiff's motion for review of the Clerk's assessment of SG Interests' costs 161 is granted. The Clerk's award of $15,518.26 for "transfer & organization of data" is reduced to 36;992 (a reduction of $14,526.26). The Clerk's taxation of SG's costs 154 is vacated. The total amount of costs taxed against the Plaintiff and in favor of Defendants SG Interests I, Ltd. and SG Interests VII, Ltd. is $44,580.24, by Judge Richard P. Matsch on 1/6/16. (ktera)
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Senior District Judge Richard P. Matsch
Civil Action No. 12-cv-01618-RPM
BUCCANEER ENERGY (USA) INC., a Nevada corporation,
GUNNISON ENERGY CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation,
SG INTERESTS I, LTD., a Texas limited partnership, and
SG INTERESTS VII, LTD., a Texas limited partnership,
ORDER DETERMINING COSTS
Pursuant to the judgment entered on September 25, 2015, Defendants SG Interests I, Ltd.
and SG Interests VII, Ltd. (“SG”) were awarded costs upon filing a bill of costs within 14 days.
SG filed a bill of costs on October 9, 2015, seeking costs in the amount of $133,692.73.
Doc. # 140. On November 17, 2015, SG supplemented its bill of costs. Docs. #153 & #153-1.
The supplement consisted of three invoices and a declaration of Jesse Sackin, an account
executive of Transperfect Legal Solutions (“Transperfect”). Transperfect is a legal support and
consulting company that provided database management services for SG. See Sackin Decl. The
purpose of the supplement was to provide additional documentation for SG’s request for costs
attributable to document management services.
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On November 18, 2015, the Clerk awarded costs against the Plaintiff and in favor of SG
in the amount of $59,106.50. Doc. #154.1
Of that total amount, $15,518.26 was awarded for “transfer & organization of data.” Id.
at p. 6. The Clerk’s notations on the bill of costs indicate that the award of $15,518.26 for
“transfer & organization of data” was supported by the Sackin declaration and related invoices.
The Plaintiff timely moved pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 54(d)(1) and 28 U.S.C. § 1920 for
review of the Clerk’s assessment of SG’s costs, arguing that the Clerk’s award of $15,518.26 for
“transfer & organization of data” was improper and that aspect of the award should be reduced to
SG acknowledges that the $15,518.26 awarded by the Clerk for “transfer & organization
of data” includes certain non-recoverable costs attributable to data storage fees and user access
fees. SG contends that the Sackin declaration and the Transperfect invoices support an
assessment of costs in the amount of $15,254.50. See Sackin Decl. ¶ 5 (stating that Transperfect
charged $15,254.50 for the work of establishing a database and publishing documents to the
database). SG explains that those charges were for consolidating data from several existing
databases (which were created in connection with prior related cases) and creating a database
specific to this lawsuit. SG characterizes that work as “uploading documents” and argues such
charges are consistent with the language of 28 U.S.C. § 1920(4).
The Plaintiff asserts that the charges were for transferring documents electronically
stored on existing host databases maintained by Fulbright & Jaworski into a host database
The docket shows that the Bill of Costs (doc. #154) was entered on November 18, 2015,
although the filing date is November 17, 2015. It bears a date stamp of November 18, 2015.
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maintained by Baker & Hostetler, after SG’s lead attorneys changed their law firm affiliation.
The Plaintiff shows that the SG’s creation of the new database occurred after SG had responded
to the Plaintiff’s first request for production of documents. The Plaintiff argues that the costs of
transferring documents from existing databases to another database to accommodate a change in
counsel’s law firms are not recoverable. According to the Plaintiff, the Transperfect invoices
show that only $992 was attributable to converting electronically stored documents to the native
format agreed to by the parties. See Sackin decl. ¶ 4.
Taxable costs include “[f]ees for exemplification and the costs of making copies of any
materials where the copies are necessarily obtained for use in the case.” 28 U.S.C. § 1920(4).
“Taxable e-discovery costs are generally limited to the cost of initially uploading data
and converting native files to other formats, such as TIFF and PDF.” Nero v. Am. Family Mut.
Ins. Co., 2013 WL 5323262 at * 2-3 (D. Colo. Sept. 23, 2013) (citing Race Tires Am., Inc. v.
Hoosier Racing Tire Corp., 674 F.3d 158, 171 (3d Cir. 2012)).
The disputed charges do not fall within taxable e-discovery costs. 28 U.S.C. § 1920 does
not authorize an award of those costs.
Accordingly, it is
ORDERED that the Plaintiff’s motion for review of the Clerk’s assessment of
SG Interests’ costs (doc. #161) is granted. The Clerk’s award of $15,518.26 for “transfer &
organization of data” is reduced to $992 (a reduction of $14,526.26). It is
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FURTHER ORDERED that the Clerk’s taxation of SG’s costs (doc. #154) is vacated.
The total amount of costs taxed against the Plaintiff and in favor of Defendants SG Interests I,
Ltd. and SG Interests VII, Ltd. is $44,580.24.
Dated: January 6, 2016
BY THE COURT:
s/Richard P. Matsch
Richard P. Matsch, Senior Judge
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