Archive: January 2006

1
Court Denies Request for In Camera Review of Email to Evaluate Relevance
2
Uncertain & Unseen: Handling Metadata in Litigation Cases
3
Florida Court Affirms $75,000 Coercive Civil Contempt Sanction Against Defendants For Prolonged Discovery Abuse
4
Plaintiff’s Failure to Produce Electronic Records Did Not Warrant Ultimate Sanction of Dismissal
5
New Government Contracts Litigation Blog Launches
6
Production of 1,771 Pages of Database Printouts Was Insufficient Response to Interrogatories; Party Ordered to Produce a More Usable Form of Data or Answer Interrogatories Directly
7
Court Orders Forensic Inspection of Personal Computer in Trade Secrets Case
8
Magistrate Quashes Subpoenas to Plaintiff’s Personal Email Providers
9
Audio Conference – Privilege in Peril: Judges’ perspectives on privilege problems

Court Denies Request for In Camera Review of Email to Evaluate Relevance

Rozell v. Ross-Holst, 2006 WL 163143 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 20, 2006)

Plaintiff asserted claims of sexual harassment, retaliation, violation of the Electronic Communications Privacy Act, and computer trespassing against her former employer and supervisor. Among other things, plaintiff alleged that her supervisor “hacked” into her electronic mail account and forwarded to himself approximately 400 of her emails. Read More

Uncertain & Unseen: Handling Metadata in Litigation Cases

Uncertain and Unseen,” a bylined article by Preston Gates partner Todd Nunn on the handling of metadata in litigation, appears in the January EDD Showcase issue of Law Technology News.

In his article, Todd outlines pending amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and discusses their implications for handling metadata and other types of electronically stored information in litigation cases. While the proposed amendments do not specifically reference metadata, he notes “there are a number of amendments that should clarify issues related to its preservation and production.”

If the rules are approved this year, they will become law on December 1, 2006. Either way, “even in the absence of amended rules,” Todd advises, “parties can avoid risk by raising metadata issues with opposing counsel and the court early in the litigation.”

Florida Court Affirms $75,000 Coercive Civil Contempt Sanction Against Defendants For Prolonged Discovery Abuse

Channel Components, Inc. v. Am. II Electronics, Inc., 915 So. 2d 1278 (Fla. Dist. Ct. App. 2005)

In this case alleging tortious interference and related claims against two former employees, the plaintiff sought intervention by the court several times in order to secure defendants’ compliance with their discovery obligations. Plaintiff filed successive motions for contempt and sanctions alleging that defendants had not complied with the discovery requests or the orders of the court compelling discovery. Read More

Plaintiff’s Failure to Produce Electronic Records Did Not Warrant Ultimate Sanction of Dismissal

Martin v. Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co., 2006 WL 148991 (M.D. Fla. Jan. 19, 2006)

Plaintiff, a trial lawyer, sued his insurer for disability benefits. The insurer propounded discovery about income the plaintiff may have generated while disabled, including income derived from practicing law. Suspecting that additional documents existed which had not been produced, defense counsel met and conferred on the subject, and filed several motions to compel a more complete production. For each motion, plaintiff essentially maintained he had complied with his discovery obligations. Undeterred, the defendant subpoenaed plaintiff’s bookkeeper and his fiance, each of whom produced documents that had not been produced by plaintiff. Included within these items were travel expenses and proof of income derived from practicing law. All of the documents were electronically stored in the computers of plaintiff’s bookkeeper and his fiance. Read More

New Government Contracts Litigation Blog Launches

The Government Contracts, Construction and Procurement Policy group at Preston Gates recently launched Government Contracts Litigation, a blog on legal issues, news and best practices related to government contracts litigation. Dick Hanson and Mark Jackson, the attorneys directly responsible for managing the blog, have decades of litigation experience representing both contractors and federal agencies. Special thanks to Jason Miller in the firms’ business development group for his help bringing govcontractslitigation.com online.

Welcome to the blogosphere!

Production of 1,771 Pages of Database Printouts Was Insufficient Response to Interrogatories; Party Ordered to Produce a More Usable Form of Data or Answer Interrogatories Directly

Powerhouse Marks, L.L.C. v. Chi Hsin Impex, Inc., 2006 WL 83477 (E.D. Mich. Jan. 12, 2006)

In this trademark infringement case, plaintiffs sought from defendant Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. information relating to its purchases and sales of certain exercise equipment (Interrogatories 1 and 2). In response, Wal-Mart asserted general objections and referred plaintiffs to 1771 pages of Bates stamped documents which it contended sufficiently responded to the interrogatories. Claiming that the database printouts were indecipherable and did not adequately answer their interrogatories, plaintiffs moved to compel. Read More

Magistrate Quashes Subpoenas to Plaintiff’s Personal Email Providers

Quinby v. WestLB AG, 2006 WL 59521 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 11, 2006) In its second opinion addressing e-discovery issues (the first is summarized here), the court quashed subpoenas issued by the defendant to the providers of plaintiff’s personal email accounts. The subpoenas sought all e-mails sent to or received by plaintiff’s personal e-mail account during the period from October 2002 throughout July 2004, other than e-mails between plaintiff and her current and former counsel. Read More

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