Archive: December 1, 2011

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Commonwealth v. Koch, 39 A.3d 996 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2011)
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Stambler v. Amazon.com, No. 2:09-CV-310 (DF), 2011 WL 10538668 (E.D. Tex. May 23, 2011)
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Atlas Resources, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., No. CIV 09-1113 WJ/KBM, 2011 WL 10563364 (D.N.M. Sept. 8, 2011)
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In re Lazaridis, 865 F. Supp. 2d 521 (D.N.J. 2011)
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Holter v. Wells Fargo & Co., 281 F.R.D. 340 (D. Minn. May 4, 2011)
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Gerlich v. United Stated Dept. of Justice, 828 F. Supp. 2d 284 (D.D.C. 2011)
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Boucher v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., No. C10-199RAJ, 2011 WL 5299497 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 4, 2011)
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Zarwasch-Weiss v. SKF Economos USA, Inc., No. 1:10-cv1327, 1:10-cv-1548, 2011 WL 4628745 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 3, 2011)
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Aventa Learning, Inc. v. K12, Inc., —F. Supp. 2d—, 2011 WL 5438690 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 8, 2011)
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LW. Matteson, Inc. v. Sevenson Envtl. Servs., Inc., No. 10-CV-168S, 2012 WL 5597653 (W.D. N.Y. Nov. 17, 2011)

Commonwealth v. Koch, 39 A.3d 996 (Pa. Super. Ct. 2011)

Key Insight: Conviction reversed and case remanded where trial court abused its discretion by admitting text messages found on the defendant?s cell phone without providing any evidence to establish that the defendant was the author of the at-issue messages, particularly where several messages referred to the defendant in the third person and ?and thus, were clearly not written by her?; court also found the text messages constituted inadmissible hearsay

Nature of Case: Drug conviction

Electronic Data Involved: Text messages

Stambler v. Amazon.com, No. 2:09-CV-310 (DF), 2011 WL 10538668 (E.D. Tex. May 23, 2011)

Key Insight: Where parties agreed on search terms to identify responsive materials and defendants (the producing parties) later argued that the terms had produced overly-burdensome results, court held that defendants had the burden of ?justifying non-production or reduced production? because they had agreed to the terms and that they had failed to ?justify protection under Rule 26(b)(2)(C)(iii)? but, acknowledging the expected costs of review and production, indicated that defendants could choose to produce documents without reviewing the results in light of the ability to identify privilege using key words and the parties? claw back agreement in their protective order; recognizing the potential burden to plaintiffs if defendants chose to produce documents without review, the court indicated the parties could confer to revise search terms if they so chose

Nature of Case: Patent infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Emails

Atlas Resources, Inc. v. Liberty Mut. Ins. Co., No. CIV 09-1113 WJ/KBM, 2011 WL 10563364 (D.N.M. Sept. 8, 2011)

Key Insight: For Defendant?s and counsel?s discovery violations, including delayed production of relevant information, wrongful certification that discovery was complete, producing a 500-page document 35 times, and failing to conduct adequate searches of responsive information, court evaluated the Enrenhaus factors and imposed monetary sanctions to be paid by both Defendant and its counsel; court?s analysis was particularly critical of counsel who the court concluded had ?abdicated its responsibility to exercise oversight of the discovery process? and who the court found to be subject to sanctions pursuant to both Rule 37 and 26

Nature of Case: Claims arising from contract for providing worker?s compensation insurance and claims administration

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

In re Lazaridis, 865 F. Supp. 2d 521 (D.N.J. 2011)

Key Insight: Court granted motion to quash subpoena issued pursuant to 28 U.S.C. ? 1782 upon finding the subpoena was unduly burdensome because of the time and/or cost that would be required to retrieve the information requested from the non-profit organization?s server, particularly in light of the availability of the information from the organization?s publically available website, and where the request implicated the First Amendment rights of the organization?s members who were subject to a privacy policy that assured them that their private information would be protected

Nature of Case: Foreign prosecution involving claims of libel and slander

Electronic Data Involved: ESI, messages from online forum(s)(stored in Structured Query Language)

Holter v. Wells Fargo & Co., 281 F.R.D. 340 (D. Minn. May 4, 2011)

Key Insight: Court found that relevant social media content was discoverable but declined to compel plaintiff to produce her login and password or her entire Facebook history (using the ?Download your own information? feature) and ordered plaintiff?s counsel to review plaintiff?s social media content for a period beginning in 2005 to identify information relevant to the categories identified by the court

Nature of Case: Employment discrimination, failure to accomodate

Electronic Data Involved: Social media content

Gerlich v. United Stated Dept. of Justice, 828 F. Supp. 2d 284 (D.D.C. 2011)

Key Insight: Plaintiff argued that Department of Justice had destroyed records in violation of Federal Records Act but court clarified that Federal Records Act rather requires agencies to decide which materials must be preserved and reasoned that where DOJ decided not to require preservation of notes related to employment candidates and thus such information was destroyed, no spoliation could be found where the destruction was in accordance with policy and occurred prior to initiation of the relevant investigation and the subsequent lawsuit

Nature of Case: Claims alleging wrongful employment decisions based on political affiliation

Electronic Data Involved: Notes taken regarding applicants

Boucher v. First Am. Title Ins. Co., No. C10-199RAJ, 2011 WL 5299497 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 4, 2011)

Key Insight: Following discussion of the breadth of original requests and subsequent narrowing of scope, court addressed duty of defendant to produce evidence from third-party who provided defendant with mortgage-related documents and from independent agents and ordered production from those parties where evidence indicated that at least some agents had contractually agreed to produce documents thus evidencing defendant?s control and where provider of mortgage-documents did not object to disclosure

Nature of Case: Class action

Electronic Data Involved: ESI from third parties

Zarwasch-Weiss v. SKF Economos USA, Inc., No. 1:10-cv1327, 1:10-cv-1548, 2011 WL 4628745 (N.D. Ohio Oct. 3, 2011)

Key Insight: In three separate instances, court concluded plaintiff deliberately destroyed or failed to produce relevant electronic devices and documents; culpably contributed to the destruction of a relevant hard drive; and deliberately destroyed relevant financial information and ordered repayment of plaintiff?s attorneys? fees and costs related to the adjudication of their motions for sanctions and repayment of attorneys? fees and costs related to plaintiffs construction of evidence of relevant financial information, made much more difficult by defendant?s spoliation

Nature of Case: Breach of employment contract and related claims and cross claims related to theft and use of confidential information

Electronic Data Involved: ESI

Aventa Learning, Inc. v. K12, Inc., —F. Supp. 2d—, 2011 WL 5438690 (W.D. Wash. Nov. 8, 2011)

Key Insight: Applying Washington State law, court held that return of employer-issued laptop containing attorney-client privileged information without asserting a claim of privilege as to those contents resulted in waiver of privilege; even where privilege was asserted as to certain contents prior to return of employer-issued laptop, privilege was waived where employer?s policies negated expectation of privacy, including as to web based email accessed on the laptop; court?s analysis applied four part test from In re Asia Global Crossing, Ltd., 322 B.R. 247 (Bankr. S.D.N.Y. 2005)

Nature of Case: Breach of separation agreement, conversion

Electronic Data Involved: Privileged emails

LW. Matteson, Inc. v. Sevenson Envtl. Servs., Inc., No. 10-CV-168S, 2012 WL 5597653 (W.D. N.Y. Nov. 17, 2011)

Key Insight: Although the allegedly spoliated information was likely relevant, court denied motion for spoliation sanctions where plaintiff?s pre-litigation letter expressing dissatisfaction with defendant?s work did not put defendants on notice that the at-issue data was relevant and should be preserved and where there was no evidence that defendant intended to destroy the data but rather that the information was lost because the computer on which it was stored did not save the information and instead deleted it before it began a new job; court also noted that defendants had provided the requested information upon plaintiff?s request prior to filing of litigation

Nature of Case: Breach of Contract

Electronic Data Involved: WinOPS data

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