“Peachtree” is a commonly used brand of accounting software that is designed to maintain company general ledgers, subsidiary ledgers, budgets, accounts receivable, accounts payable, inventory, payroll, and other business records in a searchable database. Once financial data is entered into Peachtree, that accounting information can be exported to other software programs (such as Excel) to refine data (or generate other selective reports or financial analyses).
*11 12. The production of electronically stored information should be made in the form or forms in which it is ordinarily maintained or that is reasonably usable given the nature of the electronically stored information and the proportional needs of the case.
[t]ypically, a requesting party does not need ESI produced in its native format in order to access, cull, analyze, search, and display the ESI. Indeed, the most common way to produce ESI for more than a decade has been to create static electronic image in Tagged Image File Format (TIFF) or Adobe Portable Document (PDF) format, to place the extracted text from the document into a text file, and to place the selected metadata and other non-apparent tata into one or more separate load files. This form is frequently referred to as the production of “TIFF, Text and Load Files” or “TIFF+”.
As a result of the mass data input into [the Peachtree] database, coupled with the lack of need to re-run dormant functions from years prior, Mr. Mirra’s business[es] have long routinely “purged” data from the Peachtree database every twenty-months. As a result, older data is not readily accessible from the Peachtree database. These facts were relayed to Ms. Jordan when she first raised this issue three years ago.... Mr. Mirra has produced all relevant, responsive Peachtree data in his possession in native Microsoft Excel format....
*18 That there is good reason to believe that answers to its well-tailored questions will contribute meaningfully to clarifying the issues in the case, narrowing the scope of the dispute, or setting up early settlement discussion, or that such answers are likely to expose a substantial basis for a motion under [Federal Rule of Civil Procedure] 11 or Rule 56.
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