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Courts have looked beyond accessibility to determine whether to shift discovery costs. , see, e.g., FDIC v. Brudnicki, 291 F.R.D. 669, 676 (N.D. Fla. 2013) ('While the Court in Zubulake was focusing upon the issue of cost shifting when dealing with inaccessible ESI, and other courts have required a showing of inaccessibility for cost shift-ing, other courts have held that Rule 26(c) permits cost shifting as part of enforcing proportionality limits.').


Reflecting this development, Rule 26 was amended in 2015 to expressly recognize the courts' capacity to order cost-shifting in the hopes of forestalling 'the temptation [that] some par-ties may feel to contest' the courts' authority to do so. See Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 advisory committee's notes. Specifically,   the amendment added subsection 26(c)(1)(B), which permits a court to issue an order, for good cause, to protect a party from 'annoyance, embarrassment, oppression, or undue burden or expense,' by specifying the terms of discovery, 'including time and place or the allocation of expenses[.]' Id. at 26(c)(1)(B). In considering this amendment, courts have found that determining whether a discovery request warrants cost-shifting based on its burdensomeness turns on: the needs of the case; the amount in ...

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