Archive: May 2016

1
Plaintiff’s “Lackadaisical attitude towards document preservation” Results in Prejudice to Defendant, Sanctions
2
Once Again, UK Court Approves Use of Predictive Coding
3
Citing Restoration and Production of Deleted Emails, Court Denies Sanctions
4
Court Orders Production of “Download Your Info” Report from Facebook
5
Deflategate Reinflated: Second Circuit Reinstates Brady Suspension for Participating in Deflation Scheme and Obstructing Investigation

Plaintiff’s “Lackadaisical attitude towards document preservation” Results in Prejudice to Defendant, Sanctions

Mathew Enter., Inc. v. Chrysler Grp. LLC, No. 13-cv-04236-BLF, 2016 WL 2957133 (N.D. Cal. May 23, 2016)

The rules governing parties’ duties to preserve data do not demand perfection. Only when a party should have preserved electronically stored information “in the anticipation or conduct of litigation” and when that party “failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it” may a court order corrective measures. The standard is an attainable one.

Applying newly-amended Rule 37(e) (which “now provides a genuine safe harbor for those parties that take ‘reasonable steps’ to preserve their [ESI]”) the court concluded that Defendant was prejudiced by Plaintiff’s failure to preserve customer communications and imposed curative measures.

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Once Again, UK Court Approves Use of Predictive Coding

It seems that predictive coding may be catching on in the UK. Not long ago, the English High Court approved the use of predictive coding for the first time in Pyrrho Investments Ltd v MWB Property Ltd [2016] EWHC 256 (Ch). In that case, the parties agreed to the use of predictive coding software and merely sought approval from the court.  Now, The Lawyer (registration required) reports that the High Court has once again weighed in on the issue, this time to approve the use of predictive coding despite the apparent objection of at least one party. This is the first time such an order has been granted.  While the details of the order and underlying disagreement have yet to be revealed, the result bodes well for parties seeking to rely on such technology in future.

Stay tuned to this space for more information as it becomes available.

Citing Restoration and Production of Deleted Emails, Court Denies Sanctions

FiTeq Inc. v. Venture Corp., No. 13-cv-01946-BLF, 2016 WL 1701794 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 28, 2016)

In this case, the court denied Plaintiff’s motion to “instruct jurors that they may presume Venture carried out or allowed the destruction of relevant evidence favorable to FiTeq” despite an executive’s deletion of potentially relevant emails where the messages were eventually recovered and produced and where Plaintiff failed to prove that other responsive documents existed or to establish that the ESI was not restored or replaced.

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Court Orders Production of “Download Your Info” Report from Facebook

Rhone v. Schneider Nat’l Carriers, Inc., No. 4:15-cv-01096-NCC, 2016 WL 1594453 (E.D. Mo. Apr. 21, 2016)

In this personal injury case, the court ordered Plaintiff to produce a “Download Your Info” report from Facebook, spanning from the date of the at-issue incident (June 2, 2014) through the present.   Per Facebook’s Help Center (last accessed May 10, 2016) a report contains 70 categories of information, including: About Me, Chat (history), Friends, Followers, Logins, Logouts, Messages, Photos, Photos Metadata, Posts by You, Posts by Others, Post to Others, Removed Friends, Searches, Shares, Status Updates, and Videos.

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Deflategate Reinflated: Second Circuit Reinstates Brady Suspension for Participating in Deflation Scheme and Obstructing Investigation

Nat’l Football League Mgmt. Council v. Nat’l Football League Players Assoc., — F.3d —, 2016 WL 1619883 (2d Cir. Apr. 25, 2016)

On April 25, 2016, the Second Circuit reinstated (reinflated?) the four-game suspension previously imposed upon New England Patriots quarterback, Tom Brady, for his participation in what has come to be known as “Deflategate,” including the destruction of his cellular phone and its contents.

Background

On January 18, 2015, it was discovered that the footballs used by the New England Patriots in the AFC Championship Game against the Indianapolis Colts were underinflated, i.e., “inflated below the allowed minimum pressure of 12.5 pounds per square inch.” The initial investigation into the incident conducted by Theodore V. Wells, Jr., Esq.—an attorney retained by the NFL—concluded it was “more probable than not” that Brady was “at least generally aware” of the scheme to deflate footballs and indicated that “the investigation had been impaired” by Brady’s refusal to produce requested information, including text messages and emails.  This “awareness and knowledge of the scheme” and Brady’s “failure to cooperate” were cited by the NFL Executive Vice President in his letter notifying Brady of the suspension.  Brady, through the National Football League Players Association (“the Players Association”), appealed.

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