Time Zones Matter in Discovery and Not Just the Timing of eDiscovery Requests: eDiscovery Best Practices

“Mr. Clock” is back!  This week’s post for IPRO’s blog discusses the importance of time zones in eDiscovery and why it’s important to pick one when you start discovery for a case.

I recently covered an interesting case that involved a dispute over whether a discovery request submitted within the deadline in one time zone and received past the deadline in another was considered a timely request.  Island, LLC v. JBX PTY LTD was a trademark Trial and Appeal Board for the Patent and Trademark Office (PTO) case where the deadline to serve written discovery requests was on December 3, 2020, thirty days before discovery was set to close.

The Opposer (to the trademark request) served its discovery requests by email, from California, at 11:43 p.m. Pacific Time on December 3, 2020, which was 2:43 a.m. Eastern Time on December 4, 2020, to Applicant’s counsel, who is in Iowa. Because of that, the Applicant served responses to each of Opposer’s written discovery requests on December 31st objecting to them on the basis that they were untimely.  Fortunately for the Opposer, the Board found the date of service to be based on when the document in question is submitted for transmission of service (not received), so it ordered the Applicant to respond to the requests within 30 days.

That’s one example of how time zone can be important in discovery.  But it’s also important in terms of determining the date and time of the evidence for discovery purposes, especially in communications between people in different time zones..  So, how are dates and times stored in applications and how do we determine the date and time to use for discovery purposes?  Any why does all this matter from an eDiscovery standpoint?  You can find out on IPRO’s blog here. It’s just one more click!  😉

So, what do you think?  How do you handle time zones in your eDiscovery projects?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclosure: IPRO is an Educational Partner and sponsor of eDiscovery Today

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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