Aronstein et al v. Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. et al
STIPULATION AND ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY OF ELECTRONICALLY-STORED INFORMATION by Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang on 10/15/15. (bsimm, )
IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLORADO
Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-00204-RM-NYW
DAVID ARONSTEIN and LESLEY STROLL,
THOMPSON CREEK METALS COMPANY INC.,
KEVIN LOUGHREY, PAMELA SAXTON, PAMELA SOLLY,
JAMES L. FREER, JAMES P. GEYER, TIMOTHY J. HADDON,
CAROL T. BANDUCCI, THOMAS J. ONEIL,
DENIS C. ARSENAULT, AND WENDY CASSITY
STIPULATION AND [PROPOSED] ORDER REGARDING DISCOVERY OF
Plaintiffs and Defendants submit this e-discovery protocol in accordance with the Court’s
orders dated April 3, 2015 (Dkt. 47) and April 28, 2015 (Dkt. 52).
[Defendants would include the following (Plaintiffs object to this language):
Stipulation and Proposed Order will does not independently require specific actions by either party
to identify, gather and prepare specific ESI for production to the opposing party. Such
obligations will not be required unless the Court authorizes discovery to proceed in this case,
and until the Court rules on Defendants’ objection, under proportionality principles, to the cost
of producing ESI based on consideration of: a) the potential relevance of ESI (including email
production) to the legal and factual issues Plaintiffs have raised in their complaint, in
comparison to b) the estimated cost of retrieving the information. Defendants request that the
Court require Plaintiffs to share in the
cost of Defendants’ production of ESI to give them an incentive to avoid placing unnecessary
burden and expense on Defendants.]
[Plaintiffs would include the following additional language:
By the Court’s ORDER
(Doc 47), “Parties will be REQUIRED to submit an e-discovery protocol at the time of the Status
Conference”. This Stipulation and Proposed Order Regarding Discovery of Electronically
Stored Information stands alone as a Document REQUIRED to be produced by the Court. It
exists in and of itself and need not speak at all to Defendants’ request for a Stay of Discovery,
which is pending before the Court, and due to be additionally briefed at Oral Argument on May
11, 2015. Plaintiffs do not believe that the arguments advanced by Defendants in the preceding
paragraph, at all belong within this document.]
This Stipulation and Proposed Order Regarding Discovery of Electronically Stored
Information shall be the governing document by which the parties and the Court manage the
production of electronically stored information ("ESI") in this action. All parties shall be under
an obligation to take reasonable steps to comply with this Stipulation and Proposed Order. This
Stipulation and Proposed Order does not constitute an agreement on what cost-sharing from
Plaintiffs, if any, will be appropriate for Defendants’ production of ESI. The parties will seek
guidance from the Court in the future on that issue if they cannot reach agreement between
The parties and the Court recognize that this Stipulation and Proposed Order is based on
facts and circumstances as they are currently known to each party, that the discovery process is
iterative, and that additions and modifications to this Stipulation and Proposed Order may
become necessary as more information becomes known to the parties. Nothing in this Stipulation
and Proposed Order will be interpreted to require disclosure of documents or information
protected from disclosure by the attorney-client privilege, work-product doctrine or any other
applicable privilege or immunity. All parties preserve such privileges and there is no intent
through either this Stipulation and Proposed Order or the production of documents or
information hereunder to waive or weaken such privileges.
A. “Meta-Data” means: (i) information embedded in a Native File that is not ordinarily
viewable or printable from the application that generated, edited, or modified such Native File;
and (ii) information generated automatically by the operation of a computer or other information
technology system when a Native File is created, modified, transmitted, deleted or otherwise
manipulated by a user of such system. Meta-Data is a subset of ESI.
B. “Native File(s)” means ESI in the electronic format of the application in which such
ESI is normally created, viewed and/or modified. Native Files are a subset of ESI.
C. “Static Image(s)” means a representation of ESI produced by converting a Native File
into a standard image format capable of being viewed and printed on standard computer systems.
In the absence of agreement of the parties or order of the Court, a Static Image should be
provided in either Tagged Image File Format (TIFF, or .TIF files) or Portable Document Format
(PDF). If load files were created in the process of converting Native Files to Static Images, or if
load files may be created without undue burden or cost, load files should be produced together
with Static Images.
ESI Retention and Identification Protocol.
The parties will collect potentially responsive ESI from the following custodians:
For Plaintiffs: David Aronstein and Lesley Stroll.
For Defendants: Each of the defendants who has entered an appearance in this
case: Defendants Thompson Creek Metals Company Inc. (“TCM”), Kevin Loughrey, Pamela
Saxton, Pamela Solly, James L. Freer, Timothy J. Haddon, and Wendy Cassity, and the
following two additional people: Scott Shellhaas (former President and COO) and Mark Wilson
(current Chief Commercial Officer). Defendants object to the cost and burden of including as
additional custodians anyone who was involved with accounting or project management for the
Mt. Milligan Mine project—that goes beyond the allegations in Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint.
[Plaintiffs would include the following (Defendants object to this language): Other ESI
custodians for Defendants will include: any other persons that may subsequently be identified,
as having been materially involved in the creation, dissemination and vetting of TCM’s Investor
Presentations, or accounting and project management, as specifically related to the development
of the Mt Milligan Mine, whose construction and financing is at the core of Plaintiffs
Description of Information Systems:
Plaintiffs maintain control over three servers that were used in the day to day trading
operations of Tri-State Modeling LLC, the entity through which Plaintiffs purchased and sold
their shares in Thompson Creek Metals. A hard copy of the source code for Plaintiff Aronstein’s
valuation model has been created. Additionally, an electronic copy still exists.
Plaintiffs’ email accounts were all maintained by third party providers and accessible
through the Internet. Those accounts remain open. Those accounts were key word searched, and
all emails that were possibly relevant to the complaint have been converted to hard copy. The
original electronic versions of those emails remain.
Plaintiffs have maintained copies of TCM’s Investor Presentations that were in their
possession at the time Plaintiffs sent their demand letter to TCM.
Plaintiffs have requested, from Lime Brokerage, and have received, documents reflecting
all the trading activity in TCM during the period.
For Defendants: (information as of 2012 when Plaintiffs’ demand letter was
received and the Company took actions to preserve potentially relevant documents):
Thompson Creek had approximately 50 people working in its Colorado headquarters
during 2011 and 2012. Those employees used the Microsoft suite of computer applications
(Outlook, Word, Excel, PowerPoint). Most employees keep their older emails. Therefore, older
information generally is stored on currently accessible computer files.
Thompson Creek sent out a document hold memo to its employees on May 30, 2012
(after receiving Plaintiffs’ May 17, 2012 demand letter), with an updated document hold memo
sent on February 25, 2014 (after Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit). Those memos advised employees
to retain, and not discard, categories of documents potentially relating to Plaintiffs’ allegations
Word, Excel, PowerPoint documents: The Company encourages employees to
keep computer files such as Word, Excel, or PowerPoint documents on a central document
server. Some employees who travel frequently store some of their documents on the local hard
drive of their Company-issued computer so the current version of the file is easily accessible
As of 2012, Thompson Creek used a Microsoft “Exchange” email server hosted by a
third-party vendor, and Windows Outlook software to store emails sent to, and received by,
company employees. There was no automatic delete function in place. Each employee managed
retention of his or her own emails.
To preserve emails in existence as of the time Thompson Creek received Plaintiffs’
demand letter, the Company’s information technology department created a hard-drive file with
a copy of Company emails for certain employees with responsibility for the matters alleged in
the complaint in existence as of May 2012. If emails are produced in this case, they would be
produced either from individual employees’ Outlook files, or, if necessary, from the copy of
email files stored on that hard-drive, or any other repository, from which responsive emails can
be gathered, that is ‘Reasonably Accessible.’
Disaster recovery back-up system:
Thompson Creek’s information technology group performs a daily full back-up of nonemail files on shared computer drives (it has a de-duplicating function so that it only picks up
new or revised documents each day). This back-up is a disk-to-disk process and the backup is
stored on a server device. This is a disaster recovery back-up only; the stored data are not
readable but they can be restored at significant expense if necessary.
The Company does not regard its disaster recovery “back-up” file as reasonably
accessible for purposes of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(B), and objects to the large cost and burden of
producing files from that system. That system is maintained for the purpose of disaster recovery
and is not intended to function as a server from which documents can be routinely retrieved.
Nevertheless, to preserve a copy of all the non-email documents and data that were being
held as of the date Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in Connecticut in February 2014, Thompson
Creek’s information technology department restored the documents that were saved in this
system as February 2013 (one year before), and copied those restored files into a separate secure
folder on a company server.
If non-email ESI is produced in this case, it will be drawn from shared computer servers
or individual employees’ computer folders, or any other repository, from which responsive
emails can be gathered, that is ‘Reasonably Accessible.’
Thompson Creek’s Canadian office also keeps disaster recovery computer back-ups that
reach back ten years. Those files could be accessed, at significant expense, if necessary.
Thompson Creek does not regard those back-up files maintained by its Canadian office as
reasonably accessible for purposes of Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(B), and objects to the large cost
and burden of producing files from that system. That system is maintained for the purpose of
disaster recovery and is not intended to function as a server from which documents can be
Computer files from departing employees:
During 2011 and 2012, when
employees left Thompson Creek, the Company made a copy onto a network drive of all the local
files on a that person’s hard drive to preserve a copy of those files, and then gave the computer to
the employee as a departing gift. The Company also has created a “pst” archive file of a
departing employee’s emails and saved that archived file.
Kevin Loughrey retired from the company in October 2013, before this lawsuit was filed.
Because Mr. Loughrey used an Apple computer (with a different operating system than
Windows computers), his hard-drive files were not copied to a company server when he retired.
Therefore, when Plaintiffs filed this lawsuit in February 2014, the company directed Mr.
Loughrey to retain and preserve any potentially relevant files that were stored on the hard drive
of the Thompson Creek computer that he took with him when he retired.
[Plaintiffs would include the following (Defendants are checking on this question):
Plaintiffs request that Defendants provide information about how Defendant Loughrey moved
data to and from his Apple computer during his course of employment, and furthermore, what
steps if any were taken at the time of Plaintiffs’ demand letter, to preserve any relevant
information contained on that computer.]
Keyword Search Terms:
Plaintiffs are not seeking to begin the process concerning Keyword Search Terms
described in this section at this time, and may delay that process until after other initial discovery
work is completed.
The parties shall exchange lists of keyword search terms they propose to use to
search for responsive documents. The parties agree to limit such terms to those likely to yield
information relevant to the claims and defenses in this litigation, based on the allegations in
Plaintiffs’ Amended Complaint and Defendants’ Motion to Dismiss (Dkt. 22).
The parties agree to meet and confer (by telephone) to discuss the use of agreed-
upon keyword search terms.
Within 14 days of meeting and conferring to discuss the use of agreed-upon key
word searches, as referenced in paragraph 4.b. above, the parties shall exchange any proposed
edits and/or additions to the proposed lists of search terms. The parties shall endeavor to come to
an agreement regarding proposed keyword search terms. If the parties are unable to do so, they
may present any issues for resolution by Magistrate Judge Wang in accordance with Local Rule
Document Requests seeking ESI:
The parties shall meet and confer (by telephone) when they are ready to discuss with
respect to particular discovery requests, whether, or to what extent, the obligation to conduct a
reasonable search for ESI documents in response to propounded discovery requests shall be
deemed to be satisfied by producing responsive, non-privileged documents that are captured by
using the agreed-upon keyword search terms, applied to agreed-upon custodians and agreedupon computer systems and/or servers, augmented by manual review as the parties may deem
Nothing in this Order shall be construed to waive the parties’ right to object to the scope
of particular discovery requests or to review their own documents for responsiveness or
privilege. The parties also further agree to undertake reasonable efforts to produce identifiable
categories of responsive, non-privileged documents not captured by the search terms, subject to
the meet and confer described at the beginning of this paragraph.
ESI Production Protocol.
The parties will produce any ESI to each other in digital form according to the
specifications in Exhibit A below.
The parties agree that isolation, review, redaction and logging of privileged
communications can be costly and time-consuming. To limit the cost of a privilege review and
make document production more efficient, the parties agree to use the protocols described below
with respect to handling responsive documents that may include privileged information.
The parties need not identify, on any privilege or work product log in response to
document requests, privileged documents constituting:
communications between any party, and counsel for that party (other than
between Thompson Creek employees, and in house counsel for Thompson Creek), that
(a) were for the purposes of litigating this case, or were in anticipation of litigation
regarding the allegations made by the Plaintiffs in this litigation; (b) post-date the
establishment of an attorney-client relationship between counsel and the party; and (c)
were not disclosed to anyone who, at the time of the disclosure, was a third party to the
communications solely between counsel for Plaintiffs, or communications
solely between counsel for Defendants, that post-date the establishment of an attorneyclient relationship between each such attorney and his or her client(s));
communications between attorneys or their agents and litigation experts or
documents created by then-current counsel (or by any employee or agent
of then-current counsel) for the purpose of litigating this case, or in anticipation of
litigation relating to Plaintiffs’ allegations in this case, and not disclosed to anybody who,
at the time of the disclosure, was not a client of the firm creating the document at issue,
an attorney for aligned parties in this case or those attorneys’ employees, or a consultant
or expert described in sub-paragraph (c) above.
Neither party will treat the failure to log such documents as a waiver of any privilege or
Privilege or protection claims as to communications between a party and counsel may
initially be logged by category, provided that the log includes sufficient information to evaluate
or challenge any claim of privilege or protection. If any party disagrees that the log provides
sufficient information to evaluate or challenge the claim of privilege or protection, that party
may request further information, and the party claiming the privilege or protection must provide
the information required by Rule 26(b)(5) or other applicable law.
The parties request that the Court approve as an order of the Court under Fed. R. Evid.
502(d) & (e) the following agreement concerning inadvertent production of privileged
Under Federal Rule of Evidence 502(d), the disclosure of a communication or
information covered by the attorney-client privilege or work-product protection does not operate
as a waiver of any such privilege or protection as to the disclosed communication or information,
nor does it operate as a waiver with respect to disclosed or undisclosed communications or
information concerning the same or similar subject matter.
The parties agree to be governed by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(5)(B)
with respect to claims of privilege and Federal Rule of Evidence 502(b) with respect to
inadvertent production of privileged materials. The parties will abide by the following procedure
in connection with any inadvertent production of privileged materials:
If a producing party has a good faith belief that a privileged document has
been inadvertently produced, it shall notify the receiving party of the producing party’s
claim of privilege within sixty (60) days after the producing party actually discovers that
such inadvertent production was made.
Upon receipt of any notice claiming privilege with respect to a produced
document, all other parties (regardless of whether they agree with the producing party’s
claim of privilege) shall promptly:
1). Use reasonable efforts to destroy or sequester all copies of the
inadvertently produced documents or material in such parties’ possession,
custody, or control, and notify the disclosing party that they have done so; and
2). Notify the producing party that they have taken reasonable steps to
retrieve and destroy or sequester the inadvertently produced documents or
material from other persons, if any, to whom such documents or material have
been provided, consistent with Rule 26(b)(5)(B).
To the extent a receiving party disputes the producing party’s claim of
privilege, the receiving party shall notify the producing party of its position within ten
(10) business days of receiving the producing party’s notice (the “Dispute Notification”).
Within ten (10) business days of receiving the Dispute Notification, the parties shall meet
and confer in an effort to resolve their disagreement. If the parties are unable to resolve
their disagreement, the parties may submit the issue to the Court for a determination,
submitting any document(s) in dispute under seal in compliance with Rule 26(b)(5)(B),
and any relevant agreements or Court orders. See Fed. R. Evid. 502(d)-(e).
[Plaintiffs would include the following (Defendants object to this language):
No party should object to the discovery of ESI pursuant to Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(b)(2)(B) on
the basis that it is not reasonably accessible because of undue burden or cost unless the objection
has been stated with particularity, and not in conclusory or boilerplate language. Wherever the
term “reasonably accessible” is used in this Protocol, the party asserting that ESI is not
reasonably accessible should be prepared to specify facts that support its contention.
Nothing in this Stipulation and Proposed Order shall prohibit a party from seeking
modification of any of its terms either by stipulation or by application to the Court. Should any
party subsequently determine that it cannot in good faith proceed as required herein or without
undue burden and cost, the parties will meet and confer to attempt to resolve any dispute before
seeking intervention by the Court.
This Stipulation and Proposed Order relates to the general protocol of identifying and
producing ESI, and is not otherwise intended to alter the parties’ respective rights and
obligations under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure. The parties may stipulate or any party
may bring a motion to modify or clarify the application of this Stipulation and Proposed Order to
a particular document or set of documents, particular set of ESI, or otherwise.
DATED: October 15, 2015
BY THE COURT:
s/ Nina Y. Wang
United States Magistrate Judge
Dated: May 4, 2015.
s/ Gregory J. Kerwin
Gregory J. Kerwin
Allison K. Kostecka
GIBSON, DUNN & CRUTCHER LLP
1801 California Street, Suite 4200
Denver, CO 80202
Telephone: (303) 298-5700
FAX: (303) 313-2829
Attorneys for Defendants Thompson Creek Metals
Company Inc., Kevin Loughrey, Pamela Saxton,
Pamela Solly, James L. Freer, Timothy J. Haddon,
and Wendy Cassity.
s/ Michael M. Strage
Michael M. Strage
LAW OFFICE OF MICHAEL STRAGE
730 Fifth Avenue, Suite 1901
New York, New York 10019
Telephone: (646) 642-0701
Attorneys for Plaintiffs David Aronstein and
Format for digital production of ESI
The parties are discussing whether to produce documents to each other as scanned pdf files
(except for spreadsheets, and any Documents that have previously been transmitted to
unaffiliated third parties, that would be produced as Native Files), rather than go to the expense
of producing images and load files in the manner described below. They may be able to reach
agreement to forego the procedures for digital document production as described in the
TIFF Image Files: Except for all SpreadSheets, or, any Documents that have previously
been transmitted to unaffiliated third parties, the parties agree that all Documents will be
produced as single-page black and white Group IV TIFF image files of at least 300 dpi
resolution, except as provided in section B. Page size shall be 8.5 x 11 inches unless, in the
reasonable judgment of the producing party, a particular item requires a different page size.
Each image file will use the Bates number of the page as its unique file name. Original
document orientation as displayed in the native file should be maintained in the TIFF image
(e.g., portrait to portrait and landscape to landscape). For all SpreadSheets, or, any Documents
that have previously been transmitted to unaffiliated third parties, parties agree that they will be
provided as Native Files.
Text Files: Each Document produced under this order shall be accompanied by a single,
multipage text file containing all of the text for that item, not one text file per page. Each text
file shall be named using the Bates number of the first page of the corresponding production
OCR: The text for each hard copy document shall be generated by applying
optical character recognition (OCR) technology to the scanned image of the document.
The parties will endeavor to generate accurate OCR and will utilize quality OCR
processes and technology. The parties acknowledge, however, that due to poor quality of
the originals, not all documents lend themselves to the generation of accurate OCR.
ESI: The text of each ESI item shall be extracted directly from the ESI native
file. To the extent that is not technically possible (e.g., the underlying native file is an
image file), the text for each ESI item shall be generated by applying OCR to the native
file under the provision above. For contacts and calendars collected and/or processed,
user modifiable fields should be extracted and produced as text.
Redacted Text: The text file corresponding to a redacted document may be
generated by applying OCR to the redacted TIFF file under the provision above.
Foreign Language Text: The parties will make reasonable efforts to ensure that
all technologies and processes used to collect, process and produce the text of any
Document- including all TIFF conversion and OCR processes, and the extraction of text
from native files - preserves all foreign language text, punctuation and other
characteristics as they exist in the source native file.
Each TIFF image produced under this order must be assigned a Bates number that
must always: (1) be unique across the entire document production; (2) maintain a
constant length of nine numeric digits (including 0-padding) across the entire production;
(3) contain only alphanumeric characters, no special characters or embedded spaces; and
(4) be sequential within a given document.
If a producing party skips a Bates number or set of Bates numbers in a production,
the producing party will identify any such gap within 14 days of each production or 14
days after noticing the gap, whichever is later. The producing party need not provide a
placeholder (e.g., gap sheet, dummy image) within the production.
The producing party will brand all TIFF images with its corresponding Bates
number, using a consistent font type and size. Parties will make reasonable efforts to
avoid obscuring any part of the underlying image with the Bates number.
Color: If a receiving party finds the black and white version of a Document insufficient,
the receiving party may request that the producing party provide a color image. The producing
party will not unreasonably deny a request to provide a color image after the requesting party
demonstrates good cause for requesting a color image. If a producing party converts a document
to color image in response to a request from a receiving party, the producing party shall do so in
JPEG, TIFF or such other format as agreed with the receiving party.
Confidentiality Designations: If a particular Document has a confidentiality designation,
the designation shall be stamped on the face of all TIFF images pertaining to the Document. The
confidentiality designation should also be reflected in the “Confidentiality” field.
Load Files: All productions will be provided with Concordance image and data load files.
The image load file must reference each TIFF file in the corresponding production, and the total
number of TIFF files referenced in the load file must match the total number of image files in the
production. The total number of documents referenced in a production’s data load file should
match the total number of designated document breaks in the corresponding image load file for
[Plaintiffs would include the following provision (Defendants object to this provision and believe
both Plaintiffs and Defendants can retain vendors to prepare ESI images and load files based on
Plaintiffs do not have access to any kind of software to enable the production of Concordance
image or data load files. Plaintiffs are willing to forward electronic copies of relevant emails,
their valuation model, and or trading records as have been provided by Lime Brokerage]
Documents shall be produced with the following fields regardless of whether the
fields may be populated automatically from the native file or created using an automated
process: (a) BegBates, (b) EndBates, (c) BegAttach, (d) EndAttach, (e) Custodian, (f)
SourceParty, (g) NativeFileLink (for ESI only), (h) AttachRange, (i) Confidentiality, G)
RecordType, and (k) Redacted.
ESI shall be processed to reflect the date and time standardized for the UTC/GMT
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