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For those who closely follow the law and literature about electronic discovery, “proportionality” is a word and concept that has great significance. Until the current proposed rule changes, however, the “P” word did not appear in the rules but was understood to comprise the factors enumerated in existing Rule 26(b)(2)(C)(iii) — sometimes known as a cost-benefit analysis — that a court must use when it considers whether to limit the frequency or extent of discovery, namely that: “[T]he burden or expense of the proposed discovery outweighs its likely benefit, considering the needs of the case, the amount in controversy, the parties’ resources, the importance of the issues at stake in the action, and the importance of the discovery in resolving the issues.”

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