HMS Holdings Corp. v. Arendt, NO. A754/2014, 2015 WL 2403099 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. May 19, 2015)

Key Insight: For one defendant?s repeated use of a cleaning software (?Disk Utility? and its ?Secure Erase Free Space? function) to delete files and loss of a relevant hard drive without an adequate explanation and for another defendant?s loss of relevant ESI, including her intentional deletion of information from the desktop registry and her disposal of her cell phone (which she notably was unaware had been automatically backed up each time it was connected to her computer), ongoing deletion of text messages (on her new phone), and misrepresentations about when the old phone was discarded, the court found that a mandatory adverse inference was warranted and rejected Defendants? argument that the court should decline to employ the adverse inference at the preliminary injunction state, reasoning that the objective of promoting fairness was best served by ?employing an adverse inference at all relevant states of the litigation?; court also ordered defendants to pay Plaintiff?s attorneys fees without seeking reimbursement from their new employer and indicated its intention to forward its decision to the NY Bar in light of one defendant?s status as an attorney

Nature of Case: Misappropriation of trade secrets, breach of “post-employment covenants”

Electronic Data Involved: ESI, hard drive, text messages (iphone)

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