Header graphic for print
Electronic Discovery Law Blog Legal issues, news, and best practices relating to the discovery of electronically stored information.

Monthly Archives: December 2005

Magistrate Recommends Adverse Inference Instruction as Sanction for Defendant’s Negligent Failure to Institute Litigation Hold

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

DaimlerChrysler Motors v. Bill Davis Racing, Inc., 2005 WL 3502172 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 22, 2005) Plaintiff sought sanctions for defendant’s failure to preserve evidence, and the matter was referred to a magistrate for hearing and determination. Defendant asserted that email messages were lost by reason of a preexisting feature of its computer system. Defendant explained… Continue Reading

Sanctions Not Warranted For Negligent Failure to Preserve Surveillance Video

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Hamilton v. Signature Flight Support Corp., 2005 WL 3481423 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 20, 2005) In this employment discrimination case, the court decided that sanctions were not warranted for the defendant’s failure to preserve a surveillance video that captured an altercation between one of the plaintiffs and a customer. Although defendant preserved and produced what it… Continue Reading

Motion for Exclusion of Evidence or Adverse Inference Denied as Untimely and Because Defendant Produced All Responsive Documents

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Wood v. Sempra Energy Trading Corp., 2005 WL 3465845 (D. Conn. Dec. 9, 2005) In this wrongful termination case, the court denied plaintiff’s motion to preclude certain evidence or for the granting of an adverse inference against defendant. The court concluded that the timing of plaintiff’s motion, alone, provided sufficient reason to deny it. Discovery… Continue Reading

Sanctions Against Defendant and Its Counsel Not Warranted In Contentious Discovery Dispute Involving Production of Email Stored on Backup Tapes

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Quinby v. WestLB AG, 2005 WL 3453908 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 15, 2005) In this gender discrimination suit, plaintiff sought sanctions against defendant and its counsel for their conduct in connection with the production of email stored on backup tapes. Earlier, the parties had sought the court’s intervention to resolve the scope of electronic discovery. At that… Continue Reading

Court Sets Out Detailed “Directives” for Production of Electronically Stored Information

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

In re Priceline.com Inc. Sec. Litig., 233 F.R.D. 88 (D. Conn. 2005) In this securities class action, plaintiffs brought a motion to compel the production of electronically stored information. Although the defendants did not object to producing responsive information, there was substantial disagreement between the parties regarding how responsive information should be produced. The court’s… Continue Reading

Party’s Speculation That More Emails Exist Does Not Entitle Her to More

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Washington v. Thurgood Marshall Academy, 232 F.R.D. 6 (D.D.C. 2005) In this wrongful discharge case, plaintiff moved to compel the defendant to produce additional emails between defendant and plaintiff and others concerning plaintiff’s claims. In support of her argument that the defendant’s responses were deficient, she stated that she and other employees of defendant “‘e-mailed… Continue Reading

Loss of Audiotapes Did Not Warrant Exclusion of All Evidence Regarding Taped Conversations

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Crigger v. Fahnestock & Co., Inc., 2005 WL 783355 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 6, 2005) Plaintiffs sought an in limine order precluding the submission of any evidence concerning the loss of audiotapes of conversations that had been mailed to plaintiffs’ counsel but subsequently lost. One of the plaintiffs had made notes of the conversations, which were produced…. Continue Reading

Consistent Refusal to Produce Materials Deemed Sufficiently Culpable to Warrant Adverse Inference Instruction

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Lyondell-Citgo Refining, LP v. Petroleos de Venezuela, S.A., 2005 WL 1026461 (S.D.N.Y. May 2, 2005) In the course of hearing the parties’ discovery disputes, the magistrate judge ordered defendant to “‘make all Board minutes and related Board documents available in hard copy, and electronic database, for review by plaintiff’s counsel.’” Defendant subsequently informed the magistrate… Continue Reading

Without Some Evidence That Missing Documents Would Have Been Favorable to Case, Sanctions Not Appropriate

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Hamre v. Mizra, 2005 WL 1083978 (S.D.N.Y. May 9, 2005) In this medical malpractice case, defendants failed to maintain certain documents in the plaintiff’s chart, including a vital signs flow chart memorializing, inter alia, the plaintiff’s temperature over several days. Plaintiff moved for sanctions, seeking an order striking defendants’ answer or precluding defendants from offering… Continue Reading

Discrepancies in Data Did Not Warrant Additional Discovery, or Sanctions

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

White v. Lenox Hill Hosp., 2005 WL 1081443 (S.D.N.Y. May 10, 2005) The district court affirmed a magistrate’s order denying plaintiff’s application for additional discovery concerning discrepancies between patient data on defendant’s “Invision” computer system, and the “Mediware” system maintained by an independent contractor for the defendant. Plaintiff contended that there were approximately 1,500 Mediware… Continue Reading

Spoliation Inference Resulting in Summary Judgment Denied

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Davis, 234 F.R.D. 102 (E.D. Pa. 2005) Paramount Pictures Corporation (“Paramount”) identified John Davis (“Davis”), a computer consultant, as having violated its exclusive rights to reproduce and distribute the motion picture “Lemony Snicket’s: A Series of Unfortunate Events.” Davis had allegedly obtained an illegal copy of the film and distributed it… Continue Reading

Terminating Sanction Striking Defendants’ Answer for Discovery Abuse Was Proper, But Compensatory and Punitive Damages Award Totaling $24 Million Vacated and Remanded

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Elec. Funds Solutions v. Murphy, 36 Cal. Rptr. 3d 663 (Cal. Ct. App. 2005) In this lawsuit between former business partners, plaintiffs alleged claims for breach of fiduciary duty, intentional interference with economic relations, unfair competition, and related torts. Plaintiffs sought compensatory damages “in an amount in excess of $50,000 and according to proof,” as… Continue Reading

Defendant Sanctioned for Negligent Failure to Institute and Communicate Legal Hold

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

In re Old Banc One Shareholders Sec. Litig., 2005 WL 3372783 (N.D. Ill. Dec. 8, 2005) In this opinion, the District Court adopted in full the Magistrate’s Report and Recommendation regarding plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions based upon the defendant’s failure to preserve relevant documents. The court explained that, in securities cases, corporations have a duty… Continue Reading

Bank of America Corporation Ordered to Provide Discovery on Behalf of Non-Party Wholly-Owned Subsidiaries

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

In re ATM Fee Antitrust Litig., 2005 WL 3299763 (N.D. Cal. Dec. 5, 2005) In this class action, plaintiffs propounded requests for production of documents and a request for admissions to all named defendants, including Bank of America Corporation (“BAC”). Plaintiffs also served interrogatories and proposed FRCP Rule 30(b)(6) depositions substantially limited to document and… Continue Reading

Court Denies Further Sanctions, Including Shifting of Burden of Proof Based on Coleman Decision

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Jinks-Umstead v. England, 2005 WL 3312947 (D.D.C. Dec. 7, 2005) In this matter, a previous decision from which was summarized here, Lavonne Jinks-Umstead alleged that the United States Navy discriminated against her based on her race when it failed to provide her with adequate staff assistance. A jury verdict was granted in favor of Defendant,… Continue Reading

Court Finds Failure of Counsel to Determine Existence of Backup Tapes an Unlikely Mistake that Cannot Be Countenanced

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Housing Rights Ctr. v. Sterling, 2005 WL 3320739 (C.D. Cal. Mar. 2, 2005) Plaintiffs sued Defendants alleging housing discrimination as evidenced by a preference for Korean residents. Defendants allegedly committed discovery violations in connection with the ensuing litigation by failing to instigate a litigation hold, destroying relevant documents, and failing to instruct agents to search… Continue Reading

Court Does Not Find E-mail Envelope Bereft of Substance Subject to Preservation Duty

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

Holt v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., 2005 WL 3262420 (W.D. Mich. Nov. 30, 2005) Dr. Steven Holt (“Holt”) purchased several disability insurance policies from Northwestern Mutual Life Insurance Company (“Northwestern”) while working as an emergency room physician. He made a claim for payment, which was denied, and thus filed suit. In a motion to… Continue Reading

Despite Evidence of Intentional and Negligent Concealment, Bankruptcy Court Dismisses Trustee’s Spoliation of Evidence Counterclaims Because No Injury Was Shown

Posted in CASE SUMMARIES

In re Tri-State Armored Services, Inc., 332 B.R. 690 (Bankr. D.N.J. 2005) Insurance company brought adversary proceeding against Chapter 7 trustee, seeking either equitable rescission of employee dishonesty, crime, and disappearance insurance policies issued to debtor armored car company, or declaratory judgment that coverage did not exist under the policies. The trustee asserted several counterclaims… Continue Reading