The case that many believed might be the next big bang in predictive coding jurisprudence instead has ended with barely a whimper.
As I noted here last month, in the wake of Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck’s ruling in Da Silva Moore v. Publicis Groupe affirming the use of predictive coding, many in the e-discovery field turned their attention to Kleen Products LLC v. Packaging Corporation of America, believing that it might be the Next Big Case on predictive coding.
The plaintiffs in Kleen Products had asked U.S. Magistrate Judge Nan Nolan to require the defendants to use predictive coding and Judge Nolan had conducted two days of evidentiary hearings on the request as well as several status conferences.
Although the case continues on, predictive coding is off the table, at least for the time being. Last week, Judge Nolan approved a stipulation submitted by the parties in which plaintiffs withdrew their demand to apply predictive coding to any documents relating to any request for production filed prior to Oct. 1, 2013.
As to any requests for production filed after that date, the parties stipulated that they will meet and confer regarding the appropriate search methodology. “If the parties fail to agree on a search methodology,” the stipulation says, “either party may file a motion with the Court seeking resolution.”
That suggests that we may not have heard the last of Kleen Products in the context of computer-assisted search. But with any further possible rulings on the issue well over a year away, we can safely write it off as the next big case.