Archive: January 2016

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Magistrate Judge Applies Newly Amended Rule 37(e), Addresses Threshold Question of Whether At-Issue Emails were “Lost”
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Court Concludes Defendant’s Request was “precisely the kind of disproportionate discovery that Rule 26—old or new—was intended to preclude.”
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“The amendments may not look like a big deal at first glance, but they are.” – Chief Justice Roberts, 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

Magistrate Judge Applies Newly Amended Rule 37(e), Addresses Threshold Question of Whether At-Issue Emails were “Lost”

CAT3, LLC v. Black Lineage, Inc., No. 14 Civ. 5511 (AT) (JCF), 2016 WL 154116 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 12, 2016)

In this case, which raised “significant issues concerning the reach of newly amended Rule 37(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, the standard of proof governing spoliation, and the relief appropriate for the destruction of electronically stored information,” Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV addressed Plaintiffs’ intentional alteration of relevant emails, as evidenced by the discovery of the original emails “which had been deleted, albeit not without leaving a digital imprint.” Finding that newly amended Rule 37 applied and that remedies were available pursuant to both subsections (e)(1) and (e)(2), the Magistrate Judge noted that “drastic sanctions are not mandatory” and ordered that Plaintiffs were precluded from relying on “their version” of the emails to demonstrate notice to Defendants of the use of the at-issue mark and that Plaintiffs would bear the “costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees, incurred by the defendants in establishing the plaintiffs’ misconduct and in securing relief.”

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Court Concludes Defendant’s Request was “precisely the kind of disproportionate discovery that Rule 26—old or new—was intended to preclude.”

Gilead Sciences, Inc. v. Merck & Co., Inc., No. 5:13-cv-04057-BLF, 2016 WL 146574 (N.D. Cal. Jan. 13, 2016)

In this case, the court addressed Defendant’s motion to compel production of additional discovery and, applying newly amended Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(1), determined that Defendant’s request was “precisely the kind of disproportionate discovery that Rule 26—old or new—was intended to preclude.” Accordingly, the motion was denied.

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“The amendments may not look like a big deal at first glance, but they are.” – Chief Justice Roberts, 2015 Year-End Report on the Federal Judiciary

Chief Justice John Roberts has issued his annual report on the federal judiciary, focused primarily on the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, including a brief history of their development and discussion of their intended effects. Among other things, the report makes clear that the amendments “mark significant change, for both lawyers and judges, in the future conduct of civil trials.”  The report further counsels that:

The 2015 civil rules amendments are a major stride toward a better federal court system. But they will achieve the goal of Rule 1—“the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding”—only if the entire legal community, including the bench, bar, and legal academy, step up to the challenge of making real change.

A full copy of the report is available for download, here.

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