Archive: January 7, 2008

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The Computer Forensics Show
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Texas Appellate Court Upholds Discovery Order Requiring Party to Allow Opposing Party’s Expert to Create Mirror Images of Office Computer Hard Drives

The Computer Forensics Show

Washington Convention Center
801 Mt. Vernon Place NW
Washington, DC 20001

February 4-6, 2008

K&L Gates partner David E. Cohen will be presenting the opening day keynote address at this inaugural computer forensics event.  David’s presentation, entitled "A Litigation ‘Perfect Storm’:  Why Data Proliferation and E-Discovery are Battering U.S. Businesses,” will begin at 6 p.m. on Monday, February 4, 2008.

The Computer Forensics Show is described as the “Don’t Miss!” event of the year for all litigation, accounting and IT professionals.  There will be multiple tracks of sessions offered each day, specifically geared towards the different audiences who will be attending, i.e., “Legal Track,” “Accounting Track,” “IT Security Track,” “IT Security (Advanced) Track,” and “Lab Track.” 

Click here for more information about the event, or to register.

Texas Appellate Court Upholds Discovery Order Requiring Party to Allow Opposing Party’s Expert to Create Mirror Images of Office Computer Hard Drives

In re Honza, 2007 WL 4591917 (Tex. App. Dec. 28, 2007)

Defendants in underlying real estate litigation sought a writ of mandamus compelling the trial court to set aside a discovery order that required them to permit a forensic expert to create a mirror image of each of the computer hard drives in their office in an effort to locate two particular documents or iterations of those documents.  The documents were two drafts of a partial assignment of a real estate contract, and served as the basis for the underlying suit.  Plaintiff A & W Development, LLC had sought the metadata because it wanted to identify the points in time when the partial assignment draft was modified in relation to a particular diary entry.   The evidence related to the issue of whether the Honzas altered the partial assignment after the parties concluded their agreement.

The Honzas contended that the court abused its discretion because:  (1) the discovery order was overbroad and authorized an improper "fishing expedition"; (2) the order authorized the disclosure of information protected by the attorney-client privilege; and (3) the order authorized the disclosure of confidential information pertaining to the Honzas’ other clients who had no connection to the underlying lawsuit.

The appellate court denied the petition for writ of mandamus, finding that the order was not overbroad and was appropriately tailored to prohibit the unauthorized disclosure of privileged or confidential information.  In reaching its decision, the appellate court noted that there was no Texas authority directly on point, and described the relevant state and federal decisions:
 

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