Lifetouch Nat?l School Studios, Inc. v. Moss-Williams, No. C10-05297, 2013 WL 11235928 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 15, 2013)

Key Insight: Where a former employee (defendant) admitted prior possession of a thumb drive containing Plaintiff?s data (her prior employer) and that she had connected the thumb drive to her new employer?s computers (who is also a defendant) but where she claimed that she had not transferred any of Plaintiff?s information, that she could not recall the computer she connected to, and that she destroyed the drive before her duty to preserve arose, court reasoned that there was a ?sufficient nexus between the defendant?s computers and the alleged misappropriation of trade secrets to warrant forensic imaging of the computers? (over 60 in number) but, applying the cost-shifting analysis from Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC 217 FRD 309 (SDNY 2003), found that in light of the ?broad scope of the request, the cost of production, the resource disparity of the parties? and defendant?s repeated assertion that the information did not exist, cost shifting was appropriate; court indicated it ?may reconsider? cost allocation if the expert determined that information from the thumb drive was transferred to defendant?s computer

Nature of Case: Trade secrets

Electronic Data Involved: ESI of former employer

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