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Magistrate Judge Andrew J. Peck

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Hyles, a black woman of West Indian/Guyanese descent, worked for New York City’s Finance Department until 2008, when she claimed she was demoted, had her salary reduced, and was replaced by a white man. Her lawsuit under Title VII of the Civil Rights Act, the Age Discrimination in Employment Act, and New York State and City Human Rights Laws, claimed discrimination and hostile environment. At issue regarding the proposed scope of discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) was whether defendant city could be forced to use technology assisted review (TAR)or “predictive coding” when the city preferred to use keyword searching. Despite its preference that the city use the generally “cheaper, more efficient and superior” TAR, the court could not, and would not, force the city to do so. Under Sedona Principle 6 the city, as responding party, is best situated to decide how to search for and produce ESI responsive to Hyles’ document requests. It can use the search method if its choice. Although Hyles may be correct that production using keywords may not be as complete as it would be using TAR, the standard is not perfection of using the “best” tool, but rather whether the search results are reasonable and proportional.

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