Archive: July 2020

1
Maurice v. Allstate Insurance Co. (W.D. Wash. 2020)
2
Gross v. Chapman (N.D. Ill. July 28, 2020)
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Brady v. APM Management, LLC (N.D. Ohio 2020)
4
5
McMaster v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. (E.D. Mich. 2020)
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Berg v. M & F Western Products, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2020)
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Alsadi v. Intel Corporation (D. Ariz. 2020)
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Alsadi v. Intel Corporation (D. Az., 2020)
9
QueTel Corp v. Hisham Abbas (4th Cir., 2020)
10
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. M1 5100 Corporation (E.D. Fla. 2020)

Maurice v. Allstate Insurance Co. (W.D. Wash. 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant had a Motion to Compel Plaintiff to produce information and documents regarding physical and emotional injuries that she purportedly sustained during the accidents giving rise to litigation.

Among the information sought by Defendant were documents and information regarding the negative impact a motor vehicle accident on her social life, hobbies and activities. This included communications, emails, text messages, photographs, video and Facebook posts. Defendant’s Motion was granted, however, Defendant’s request for attorney’s fees and expenses was denied.

Nature of Case: Insurance Contract

Electronic Data Involved: Emails, Text Messages, Photographs, Video and Facebook Posts

Case Summary

Gross v. Chapman (N.D. Ill. July 28, 2020)

Key Insight: Bride and groom called off their wedding after a dispute arose over whether it should be an “adults only” affair. The bride’s parents sued the groom’s parents claiming they were out over $100,000 in wedding costs. After defendants produced 5,000 text messages, the court declined to grant further discovery into the process surrounding how the text messages were collected. A large volume of ESI had already been produced at significant expense to defendants and plaintiff’s motion to compel was based on speculation— “discovery on discovery with no basis other than plaintiffs’ hopeful guess that there must be more texts” and was substantially out of proportion to the needs of the case.

Nature of Case: Invasion of Privacy

Electronic Data Involved: Text Messages

Case Summary

Brady v. APM Management, LLC (N.D. Ohio 2020)

Key Insight: Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions was granted and denied in part. Defendants had failed to produce documents and comply with discovery obligations. The Court concluded that Defendants, but not Defendants’ counsel, had acted in bad faith by making misrepresentations, and issued monetary sanctions against Defendants and barred a previously pled defense. The Court denied Plaintiff’s request of a sanction of precluding Defendants from raising a new defense. Moreover, the Court declined to award fees and costs for Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Defendants to produce financial records.

Nature of Case: Wrongful Termination, Family Medical Leave Act (“FMLA”), Americans with Disabilities Act (“ADA”)

Electronic Data Involved: N/A

Case Summary

Key Insight: Court rejected additional discovery based off proportionality and discovery already produced. There was no additional proof of unproduced, relevant texts.

Electronic Data Involved: Text Messages

Keywords: additional discovery, proportionality

McMaster v. Kohl’s Department Stores, Inc. (E.D. Mich. 2020)

Key Insight: The litigation was over purported employment discrimination based on age and/or disability. Plaintiff’s Second Motion to Compel specifically sought emails from an employee of Defendant for the purpose of establishing a pattern of age and/or disability discrimination. The Court found that the emails were relevant to the litigation, and chose a date range other than that request by the parties.

The larger disagreement between the parties was over the search terms to be utilized for finding the emails. The Court ordered the parties, if they could not agree on terms, to retain an expert to assist them, and if they still could not agree, to return to Court with the opinion of the expert. Plaintiff’s Second Motion to Compel was partially granted and partially denied.

Nature of Case: Employment Discrimination, Disability Discrimination, Wrongful Termination, ADA

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

Berg v. M & F Western Products, Inc. (E.D. Tex. 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant filed a Motion to Compel Plaintiff that was granted by the Court. The Court ordered Plaintiff to conduct a full search of all documents in hard and electronic formats conduct, including but not limited to all data on social media platforms, demand letters issued by Plaintiff or his counsel to third parties referencing this case, documents and materials of Plaintiff’s company, and documents and materials related to the litigation that are in the custody and control of Plaintiff’s current or prior lawyers. The Motion’s request(s) that Plaintiff be compelled to attend his deposition and testify at trial in-person were denied.

Nature of Case: Copyright Infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Social Media, Electronic Documents

Case Summary

Alsadi v. Intel Corporation (D. Ariz. 2020)

Key Insight: The meaning of ESI is expansive, includes any type of information stored electronically, and is not limited to data stored on a computer system. Rule 37(e), not inherent authority, is the legal standard for determining whether and what sanctions are appropriate for the loss of discoverable ESI. A negative inference sanction with only be imposed if the spoliating party intentionally lost or destroyed data so it could not be used in litigation.

Nature of Case: Tort

Electronic Data Involved: Detector Device Data

Case Summary

Alsadi v. Intel Corporation (D. Az., 2020)

Key Insight: Court ruled that ESI is expansive and includes information stored electronically, not just information on a computer system as plaintiffs argued. FRCP overrules state law or inherent power to sanction. No negative inference allowed.

Nature of Case: negligence, loss of consortium

Electronic Data Involved: records of ambient gas levels

Keywords: sanctions, negative inference, inherent authority

View Case Opinion

QueTel Corp v. Hisham Abbas (4th Cir., 2020)

Key Insight: Defendants had deleted relevant files just before forensic imaging occurred. Court sanctioned Defendant and issue permanent injunction.

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Source Code and files on laptops

Keywords: sanctions, injunctions, source code

View Case Opinion

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. M1 5100 Corporation (E.D. Fla. 2020)

Key Insight: Counsel has a duty to oversee their clients’ collection of information and documents during the discovery process, especially when ESI is involved. Here, counsel failed to adequately supervise the ESI collection process. Counsel had no knowledge of the search efforts or process taken by Defendant is its discovery collection. Ultimately, the Defendant was given a final opportunity to produce responsive discovery. The parties were ordered to attempt to come to an agreement regarding and ESI protocol that included relevant data sources, custodians, and search terms.

Nature of Case: Employment Discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Documents Generally

Case Summary

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