Rule 34 allows the option of discovery in "native" file formats, which can provide a litigant with much more detailed information than a TIFF (tagged image file format) file. However, TIFF files are much easier to manage, and the storage and management of native file formats can be costly and cumbersome. A recent ABA Journal article suggests that offering to provide a sample (or requesting a sample) of digital archives in their native format early on in the discovery phase can save parties significant time and money. Parties (or the court) can then determine whether or not the evidence contained in the native format is relevant. If it is not relevant, both parties are spared the expenses associated with the storage, review and management of the native files. If the evidence is relevant, parties can proceed knowing that their resources are being utilized efficiently.For more information on native file formats, see Jason Krause, Fear of the 'Native,' ABA Journal, January 2008, at 59.
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