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

Monthly Archives: January 2007

Motion to Compel Production of Plaintiff’s Home Computer Denied as Improper Attempt to Troll for Impeachment Evidence


Hedenburg v. Aramark Am. Food Servs., 2007 WL 162716 (W.D. Wash. Jan. 17, 2007) In this employment discrimination case, defendant sought to probe the veracity of plaintiff’s claims by seeking a "mirror image" of plaintiff’s home computer hard drive. Defendant contended that plaintiff’s personal correspondence with unnamed third parties (in the form of emails or… Continue Reading

Court Denies Motion to Re-Produce Transmittal Emails in Native Format with their Attachments


Williams v. Sprint/United Mgmt. Co., 2006 WL 3691604 (D. Kan. Dec. 12, 2006) In this decision, Magistrate Judge Waxse addressed plaintiffs’ continuing complaints about defendant’s separate production of transmittal emails and the spreadsheets they transmitted. The issue had been raised and discussed during several conferences with the court, and defendant had agreed to provide a… Continue Reading

Court Declines to Shift Cost of Restoring and Searching A Single Backup Tape, But Limits Scope of Search


Semsroth v. City of Wichita, 239 F.R.D. 630 (D. Kan. 2006) In this employment discrimination suit, the plaintiffs requested information relating to emails sent to or by other officers within the Wichita Police Department.  Through negotiations, the parties narrowed that request to copies of emails from 117 different supervising officers to the extent that such… Continue Reading

Court Modifies Its Prior Cost-Shifting Formula


Quinby v. WestLB AG, 2007 WL 38230 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 4, 2007) In this opinion, the court modified its September 5, 2006 order (summarized here) which shifted to the plaintiff 30 percent of the costs of producing the emails of one witness (Barron) restored from backup tapes. After that prior order was entered, defendant submitted an… Continue Reading

Recounting Defendants’ “Systemic and Shocking” Discovery Abuses, Court Imposes Severe Sanctions and Appoints Discovery Monitor


Wachtel v. Health Net, Inc., 239 F.R.D. 81 (D.N.J. 2006) In this lengthy opinion, the court ruled upon plaintiffs’ motion for entry of default based upon defendants’ discovery misconduct and other discovery-related motions. Although it reserved judgment on whether a default should be entered, the court found that a variety of severe sanctions were appropriate given… Continue Reading

Court Rejects Spoliation Claim Based on Alleged Failure to Preserve Chat Room Comments


Malletier v. Dooney & Bourke, Inc., 2006 WL 3851151 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 22, 2006) In this trademark infringement case, plaintiff sought an array of preclusive sanctions against defendant for alleged discovery misconduct. Specifically, plaintiff argued that defendant did not make complete or timely searches for certain categories of documents and e-mails. It also contended that defendant… Continue Reading

Public Hearing on Proposed FRE 502 Occurs Today in Phoenix


Persons interested in the proposed new federal evidence rule addressing privilege waiver will testify before the Advisory Committee on Evidence Rules today in Phoenix, Arizona. Witnesses on today’s schedule include: George L. Paul of Lewis & Roca, LLP, Phoenix Thomas Y. Allman of Mayer, Brown, Rowe & Maw, Chicago Frank Verderame of Plattner Verderame, PC,… Continue Reading

Condemning Defendant’s Gamesmanship, Court Orders Production of Database


JPMorgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. Neovi, Inc., 2006 WL 3803152 (S.D. Ohio Nov. 14, 2006) In this case involving UCC claims stemming from defendant’s internet-based check service, defendant disputed that it did sufficient business with Ohio residents to subject it to the court’s jurisdiction. The court allowed limited discovery on the issue, and plaintiff propounded… Continue Reading

Firms Fret as Office E-Mail Jumps Security Walls

Posted in NEWS & UPDATES

From Brad Stone at the New York Times: "SAN FRANCISCO, Jan. 10 — Companies spend millions on systems to keep corporate e-mail safe. If only their employees were as paranoid. A growing number of Internet-literate workers are forwarding their office e-mail to free Web-accessible personal accounts offered by Google, Yahoo and other companies. Their employers,… Continue Reading

Court Defers Ruling on Spoliation Sanctions Until After Voluntary Forensic Examination of Defendants’ Computers Is Complete


Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. Davis, Slip Copy, 2006 WL 3837518 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 28, 2006) The facts underlying the lawsuit are as follows. In June 2006, Davis, a long-time employee of plaintiff Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, resigned to join GeoSouthern Energy Corporation. It was undisputed that just before leaving Anadarko in July 2006, Davis downloaded confidential… Continue Reading

Municipalities Violated Open Records Law by Providing PDF of Property Assessment Records and Not Allowing Access to Database


WIREdata, Inc. v. Village of Sussex, 729 N.W.2d 757 (Wis. Ct. App. 2007) In this open records case, WIREdata, Inc. had filed open records requests with three municipalities seeking property assessment records in the format created and maintained by the municipalities’ independent contractor assessors in a computer database.  The court held that the open records law… Continue Reading

Court Imposes Monetary Sanctions for Tardy Production and Orders Defendant to Reveal Whether Certain Other Documents Still Exist


May v. Pilot Travel Centers LLC, 2006 WL 3827511 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 28, 2006) In this wrongful termination case, plaintiff moved for sanctions on the grounds that defendant had committed spoliation by failing to preserve relevant evidence that it relied on in defending the case and that would potentially have been favorable to plaintiff. Plaintiff… Continue Reading

Court Orders Mirror Imaging of Defendants’ Hard Drives and Sets Out Three-Step Imaging, Recovery, and Disclosure Process


Ameriwood Ind., Inc. v. Liberman, 2006 WL 3825291 (E.D. Mo. Dec. 27, 2006) In this trade secrets case, the plaintiff alleged that defendants – plaintiff’s former employees and their recently formed company – improperly used plaintiff’s computers and confidential information regarding its business, and defendants’ positions of trust and confidence while in plaintiff’s employ to… Continue Reading

Court Grants Plaintiff Access to Defendant’s Database


Bianchi v. The Bureaus, Inc., 2006 WL 3802758 (N.D. Ill. Nov. 1, 2006) In this brief order, the court granted plaintiff’s motion to allow her computer expert access a database maintained by defendant, for the purpose of determining whether the account information relating to plaintiff had been altered.  There was an issue about whether defendant… Continue Reading

Court Orders Expert Witness to Preserve Evidence in Drug Case


In re Zyprexa Prods. Liab. Litig., 2006 WL 3821491 (E.D.N.Y. Dec. 28, 2006) In this order, the court ordered plaintiff’s expert witness to “immediately preserve any and all documents and information including, but not limited to, all computer(s), hard-drives, other electronic storage media, hardcopy documents, emails, e-documents, text messaging, instant messaging, phone records and voice… Continue Reading

Court Orders Lawyer to Return Documents About an Eli Lilly Drug

Posted in NEWS & UPDATES

From the December 20, 2006 issue of the NY Times: "A federal court in Brooklyn overseeing product liability lawsuits against Eli Lilly’s best-selling drug Zyprexa has ordered the lawyer who provided company documents to The New York Times and other organizations and individuals to return the documents. The internal Eli Lilly documents and e-mail messages… Continue Reading