Archive: February 2021

1
Cary v. Ne. Ill. Reg’l Commuter R.R. Corp. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 22, 2021)
2
Benebone LLC v. Pet Qwerks, Inc. (C.D. Cal. Feb. 18, 2021)
3
Optrics Inc. v. Barracuda Networks, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2021)

Cary v. Ne. Ill. Reg’l Commuter R.R. Corp. (N.D. Ill. Feb. 22, 2021)

Key Insight: Court granted, in large part, plaintiff’s motion to compel ESI, requiring defendant to disclose data sources that may contain relevant ESI and refused to impose an “arbitrary limit of five or seven custodians” requested by defendants given the number of people identified as having potentially relevant information in their initial disclosures. The court urged the parties to agree upon search terms to less the burden of ESI searches and revisit an agreed time period in light of the court’s memorandum and order, rather than take “absolute line-in-the-sand positions” (citing Standing Order Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information at Principle 1.02 (Cooperation)). The court denied plaintiff’s request to produce the entire contents of her work email, finding the blanket request overbroad on its face.

Nature of Case: Employment discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Case Summary

Benebone LLC v. Pet Qwerks, Inc. (C.D. Cal. Feb. 18, 2021)

Key Insight: Court granted defendants’ motion to compel plaintiff to produce Slack messages used as part of its internal business communications. Despite the potentially 30,000 Slack messages to review, the court found compelling the testimony from defendants’ forensic expert who stated there are a number of tools and software vendors that have streamlined review and production of Slack messages. Further, searches could be limited to certain Slack channels, users and custodians to very streamline the volume of messages for review. Thus, “requiring review and production of Slack messages by Benebone is generally comparable to requiring search and production of emails and is not unduly burdensome or disproportional to the needs of this case – if the requests and searches are appropriately limited and focused.”

Nature of Case: Intellectual property

Electronic Data Involved: Slack messages

Case Summary

Optrics Inc. v. Barracuda Networks, Inc. (N.D. Cal. Feb. 4, 2021)

Key Insight: The Plaintiff in litigation over claims of trademark infringement, unfair competition and breach of contract failed to preserve and destroyed discoverable electronic data, and similarly, failed to prepare for 30(b)(6) depositions. Moreover, there were repeated delays (and time extensions) in Plaintiff responding to Defendant’s discovery requests. In doing so, the Plaintiff repeatedly disobeyed discovery orders issued by the Court.

The litigation settled while discovery was pending. The Defendant moved for sanctions against the Plaintiff for its conduct in discovery, and the Court, pursuant to FRCP 37(b), awarded sanctions against Plaintiff and its counsel, jointly and severally. Plaintiff’s former counsel subsequently claimed that it should not be held liable for the sanctions because it was unable to control the conduct of its client in responding to discovery order(s) and requests.

Nature of Case: Intellectual Property, Trademark Infringement, Contracts, Unfair Competition

Electronic Data Involved: Email, Electronic Files, Hard Drives.

Case Summary

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