Where U.S. litigation discovery obligations were argued to be in conflict with foreign civil and criminal privacy statutes, many recent opinions found that discovery should proceed under the Federal Rules over the protest of the foreign data custodians. However, in SEC v. Stanford International Bank Ltd, the court departed from this pattern in finding that discovery should first proceed under the Hague convention in the interest of comity. While it is unclear the extent to which this approach will be followed by other courts in the future, the Stanford opinion illustrates that it is possible for litigants and third parties to successfully navigate cross border discovery conflicts even where privacy interests are at stake.

In a recently unsealed order, Central District of California Magistrate Judge Jacqueline Chooljian ruled that data contained in a computer server’s Random Access Memory (RAM) is “electronically stored information” for purposes of Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34. She also ordered the defendant to begin logging the contents of certain servers’ RAM and producing the logs.