Archive: December 1, 2015

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United States v. Shah, No. 5:13-CR-328-FL, 2015 WL 3605077 (E.D.N.C. June 5, 2015)
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Smith v. Williams, No. 06-14-00040-CV, 2015 WL 3526089 (Tx. Ct. App. May 29, 2015)
3
Giuliani v. Springfield Township, No. 10-7518 (E.D. Pa. June 9, 2015)
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Malibu Media, LLC v. Harrison, No. 1:12-CV-117-WTL-MJD, 2015 WL 3545250 (S.D. Ind. June 8, 2015)
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Horse v. BNSF R.R. Co., —P.3d—, 2015 WL 3444432 (Mont. May 29, 2015)
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Johnson v. BAE Sys., Inc., —F. Supp. 3d—, No. 11-cv-02172 (RLW), 2015 WL 3397036 (D.D.C. May 27, 2015)
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D.O.H. v. Lake Cent. Sch. Corp., No. 2:11?cv?430, 2015 WL 736419 (N.D. Ind. Feb. 20, 2015)
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Bagely v. Yale University, —F. supp. 3d—, No. 3:13-CV-1890 CSH, 2015 WL 1897425 (D. Conn. Apr. 27, 2015)
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Butler v. State of Texas, —S.W.3d—, 2015 WL 1816933 (Tex. Crim. App. Apr. 22, 2015)
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Bruno?s v. Bozzuto?s, No. 3:09-CV-00874, 2015 WL 1862990 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 23, 2015)

United States v. Shah, No. 5:13-CR-328-FL, 2015 WL 3605077 (E.D.N.C. June 5, 2015)

Key Insight: Court declined to find that contents of email and chats from gmail account could be authenticated as Google?s business records pursuant to ER 902(11) where the contents of the emails were automatically copied to and maintained upon Google?s servers finding that the ?knowledge? requirement was not satisfied and reasoning: ?Neither SHAHNN28@GMAIL.COM, nor any other originating source whose statements appear in the records produced by Google were under a ?business duty? to convey accurate information in their correspondence. Because the proffered ?finished product? is not the collective effort of ?business insiders,? who share a duty to ensure the accuracy of their statements, the court cannot allow those statements to be authenticated on the theory that they are Google?s self-proving business records under Federal Rules of Evidence 803(6) and 902(11).?

Nature of Case: Intentional damage to a protected computer

Electronic Data Involved: Gmail emails and chats

Smith v. Williams, No. 06-14-00040-CV, 2015 WL 3526089 (Tx. Ct. App. May 29, 2015)

Key Insight: Trial court erred by giving a spoliation instruction for Defendant?s failure to produce certain information where an explanation was given for the nonexistence of some records and where there was no evidence that the missing records were lost with the requisite intent to conceal or destroy relevant evidence and the error was harmful; judgment was reversed and case remanded

Nature of Case: Personal injury resulting from automobile/tractor-trailer collision

Electronic Data Involved: Miscellaneous records

Giuliani v. Springfield Township, No. 10-7518 (E.D. Pa. June 9, 2015)

Key Insight: Court declined to impose spoliation sanctions for Township?s alleged failure to preserve relevant evidence where the Township believed that all disputes with Plaintiffs had been resolved, and thus had no anticipation of litigation or duty to preserve prior to the filing of the complaint, where there was no evidence that the at-issue evidence was destroyed after litigation had commenced, and where Plaintiffs failed to establish that defendant had acted with any ill motive or bad intent (bad faith) in failing to retain the documents plaintiff sought

Nature of Case: Constitutional claims related to land use

Electronic Data Involved: Emails, ESI

Malibu Media, LLC v. Harrison, No. 1:12-CV-117-WTL-MJD, 2015 WL 3545250 (S.D. Ind. June 8, 2015)

Key Insight: Where magistrate judge found that defendant violated his duty to preserve when he discarded his laptop after it allegedly crashed but declined to impose default judgement or an adverse inference absent evidence of bad faith, the district court upheld the decision not to impose default judgment but, reasoning that the credibility of defendant?s explanation was best left to the jury, held that the jury would be instructed that if it found bad faith, it could infer the computer?s contents were unfavorable

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Contents of hard drive

Horse v. BNSF R.R. Co., —P.3d—, 2015 WL 3444432 (Mont. May 29, 2015)

Key Insight: On appeal, Supreme Court found that lower court?s failure to order default judgment for Defendant?s spoliation of potentially relevant surveillance video despite a request for preservation and the sophistication and experience to understand the need to preserve was not an abuse of discretion but did find that the failure to award a meaningful sanction was an abuse of discretion where the instruction that Defendant would not be allowed to discuss the surveillance video?which it claimed showed no evidence of the at-issue accident?unless Plaintiff brought it up put the Plaintiff in a bind such that if he brought up the destruction of the video, Defendant could argue it contained nothing, and thus take advantage of the video?s unavailability to rebut their claim; the case was remanded for a new trial

Nature of Case: Work-related injury

Electronic Data Involved: Surveillance video

Johnson v. BAE Sys., Inc., —F. Supp. 3d—, No. 11-cv-02172 (RLW), 2015 WL 3397036 (D.D.C. May 27, 2015)

Key Insight: Where Plaintiffs bad discovery behaviors included hiring a computer technician to work on her computer before producing it for inspection, including using C Cleaner to delete files; deleting several .pst files; and producing a seemingly incomplete set of documents from Facebook, the court called it ?an exceedingly close case? but, because of the lack of meaningful prejudice, declined to impose terminating sanctions and ordered an adverse inference and other evidentiary sanctions and that Defendants were entitled to recoup their fees related to the sanctions motion

Nature of Case: Claims arising from alleged sexual harassment on the job

Electronic Data Involved: ESI, email, Facebook (social network)

D.O.H. v. Lake Cent. Sch. Corp., No. 2:11?cv?430, 2015 WL 736419 (N.D. Ind. Feb. 20, 2015)

Key Insight: Finding plaintiff responsible for his prior counsel?s deficient Facebook production, saying he ?voluntarily chose his prior counsel and cannot avoid the consequences for his attorney?s discovery failures? and also responsible for his current counsel?s deficient Twitter production, district court granted Motion for Sanctions filed by defendants in part and ordered plaintiff to produce the entirety of his Twitter profile with redactions for privilege and relevance and to produce a log for any social networking information withheld and to pay the reasonable expenses and attorney?s fees associate with the discovery dispute.

Nature of Case: Civil Rights

Electronic Data Involved: Social media postings

Bagely v. Yale University, —F. supp. 3d—, No. 3:13-CV-1890 CSH, 2015 WL 1897425 (D. Conn. Apr. 27, 2015)

Key Insight: Court denied motion for protective order seeking permission to be excused from the obligation to conduct further discovery where, although defendant claimed that prior production efforts had resulted in a less than 8% responsiveness rate, the court reasoned that Rule 26(b)(2)(B) ?measures the phrase ?not reasonably accessible? by whether it exposes the responding party to ?undue cost.? Not some cost: undue cost . . .? and where the court reasoned that Plaintiff had, in any event, shown good cause for further discovery; court?s discussion provides good analysis of issues related to 26(b)(2)(B)

Nature of Case: Wrongful termination

Electronic Data Involved: ESI from agreed upon custodians

Butler v. State of Texas, —S.W.3d—, 2015 WL 1816933 (Tex. Crim. App. Apr. 22, 2015)

Key Insight: Highest criminal court in Texas reversed the judgment of the court of appeals that had overturned defendant?s conviction upon concluding that the trial court ?had acted within its discretion? in concluding that the state met its threshold burden of authentication sufficient to admit defendant?s text messages to the victim where authentication can be satisfied by direct or circumstantial evidence and where the victim testified that she knew the messages were from defendant because: he had called from that number in the past, ?the context of the text messages convinced her that the messages were from him,? and ?he actually called her from that same phone number during the course of that very text message exchange?

Nature of Case: Criminal: Kidnapping, assault and related crimes

Electronic Data Involved: Text messages from Defendant to the victim

Bruno?s v. Bozzuto?s, No. 3:09-CV-00874, 2015 WL 1862990 (M.D. Pa. Apr. 23, 2015)

Key Insight: Where plaintiffs intentionally destroyed all paper and electronic copies of relevant financial information despite a duty to preserve citing the burden of storage, the court found that the destruction was in bad faith, but that the prejudice was minimal where other sources of evidence provided sufficient information to support Defendant?s defenses and thus ordered an adverse inference at trial; where one plaintiff was a Certified Public Accountant, court considered her professional capacity when considering the willfulness of the destruction, noting that it ?strains credulity? that an accountant would throw away all financial documents because of ?storage space?

Nature of Case: Breach of Contract

Electronic Data Involved: ESI (financial data)

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