Archive: August 29, 2007

1
Court Allows Summoned Attorneys to Be Represented by Counsel, and Grants Extension for Hearing on Order to Show Cause Why Sanctions Should Not Be Imposed
2
Information Temporarily Stored in Computer’s Random Access Memory (“RAM”) Constitutes “Electronically Stored Information” under FRCP 34(a)

Court Allows Summoned Attorneys to Be Represented by Counsel, and Grants Extension for Hearing on Order to Show Cause Why Sanctions Should Not Be Imposed

Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., No. 05-CV-1958-B (BLM), United States District Court for the Southern District of California

The lawyers who represented Qualcomm in this unsuccessful patent litigation, who on August 13, 2007 were ordered to appear today to show cause (“OSC”) why sanctions should not be imposed against them for failure to comply with the Court’s orders, will not be appearing in court today after all.  Magistrate Judge Barbara Lynn Major has granted the lawyers’ applications to extend the August 22, 2007 filing date for declarations regarding the imposition of sanctions and the August 29, 2007 OSC hearing date.  In their applications, the lawyers acknowledged that the “OSC raises complex and very serious issues that potentially impact the legal careers of the lawyers who are the subject of the OSC,” and explained that additional time was needed to get the lawyers’ newly-hired attorneys up to speed on the record and the issues, and adequately prepare for the OSC.  Finding that good cause was shown, the Court granted the applications and extended the deadline for filing declarations to Friday, September 21, 2007, and moved the hearing date to Friday, October 12, 2007 at 9:30 a.m.

In related rulings, Magistrate Judge Major agreed to allow the lawyers to be represented by their own counsel for purposes of responding to the OSC.  The HellerErhman lawyers will be represented by Kirby Noonan Lance & Hoge LLP of San Diego, and the lawyers from Day Casebeer Madrid & Batchelder will be represented by Shartsis Friese LLP of San Francisco. 

As noted in our August 13, 2007 post, the Order to Show Cause was issued days after District Court Judge Rudi M. Brewster entered a 54-page Order on Remedy for Finding of Waiver.  There, the District Judge found “by clear and convincing evidence that Qualcomm[’s] counsel participated in an organized program of litigation misconduct and concealment throughout discovery, trial, and post-trial before new counsel took over lead role in the case on April 27, 2007.”  Among other things, the Court highlighted Qualcomm’s production of over 200,000 pages of highly relevant emails and electronic documents four months post-trial.

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Information Temporarily Stored in Computer’s Random Access Memory (“RAM”) Constitutes “Electronically Stored Information” under FRCP 34(a)

Columbia Pictures, Inc. v. Bunnell, 245 F.R.D. 443 (C.D. Cal. 2007)

In this opinion, the district court denied defendants’ motion for review of a prior discovery order that required defendants to begin preserving and subsequently produce certain data held in the random access memory (RAM) of defendants’ computer servers.  The court noted that, at the heart of defendants’ motion for review was a question of first impression:  Is the information held in a computer’s random access memory (RAM) "electronically stored information" under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34?  The court concluded that it is: 

Defendants and amici seek to engraft on the definition of “stored” an additional requirement, that the information be not just stored, but stored “for later retrieval.”  They argue that “electronically stored information” cannot include information held in RAM because the period of storage, which may be as much as six hours, is too temporary.  The Court finds this interpretation of “stored” unsupported by the text of the Rule, the accompanying commentary of its drafters, or Ninth Circuit precedent involving RAM.  The Court holds that data stored in RAM, however temporarily, is electronically stored information subject to discovery under the circumstances of the instant case.

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