Archive: August 21, 2004

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Federal Court Issues Opinion On E-Discovery Sanctions and Evidence Preservation

Federal Court Issues Opinion On E-Discovery Sanctions and Evidence Preservation

The federal district court for the Southern District of New York has issued another ruling (available here) relating to electronic discovery in the ongoing matter of Zubulake v. UBS Warburg.

The court’s most recent decision, issued October 22, 2003, addresses Zubulake’s motion for sanctions against UBS for its failure to preserve missing backup tapes and deleted emails. See Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, LLC, 2003 WL 22410619 (S.D.N.Y.). Although the court established no definitive guidelines regarding when backup tapes must be preserved, the decision discusses this issue at length, describing both situations where the tapes should be preserved, and situations where they need not be preserved.

After considering UBS’s failure to preserve the missing backup tapes and deleted emails, the court declined to grant an adverse inference instruction against UBS, or to impose on UBS the full cost of restoring certain backup tapes, but did order UBS to bear the plaintiff’s costs of re-deposing certain individuals concerning issues raised either by the destruction of evidence or by any newly-produced emails. Read More

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