Category: News & Updates

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The Billion-Dollar Data Storage Error
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Rules & Procedures: Extreme Makeover
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UBS Securities to Pay $2.1 Million in Penalties and Fines for Failure to Preserve Email
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Instant Messages: instant panic
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House Bill Proposes Five Year Minimum Sentence for Document Destruction
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Panel Discusses Differences in Electronic Discovery in New York State and Federal Courts
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Standing Committee Approves Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
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This is Spinal Tech
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Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Submitted to Standing Committee
10
Perelman Awarded an Additional $850 Million in Punitive Damages in Coleman v. Morgan Stanley

Rules & Procedures: Extreme Makeover

Law Technology News, EDD Showcase, August 2005
By Helen Bergman Moure

On June 16, 2005, discovery practice took a huge step forward when the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure approved a set of proposed amendments relating to electronic discovery. The proposed rules and their accompanying “Notes” now face three remaining hurdles: Judicial Conference of Senior Circuit Judges approval; Supreme Court approval; and Congressional review.

Assuming they are not delayed, amended, voided, or deferred during these remaining steps, the amendments will become effective on December 1, 2006. Click here to read the entire article.

UBS Securities to Pay $2.1 Million in Penalties and Fines for Failure to Preserve Email

On July 13, 2005 the Securities and Exchange Commission (“Commission”) issued an Order in connection with the alleged failure of UBS Securities LLC (“UBS”) to preserve email. The Commission accepted an Offer of Settlement and UBS consented to entry of the Order without admitting or denying any findings of wrongdoing. Read More

Instant Messages: instant panic

The Monday, June 27, 2005 issue of The National Law Journal reports instant messaging (IM) carries its own set of legal implications for in-house law departments. Although many people think of IM as a fleeting conversation, similar to a telephone call, it’s legally considered a document, and is subject to the same retention policies that cover other business records. Click here for the full text of the article [subscription required.]

House Bill Proposes Five Year Minimum Sentence for Document Destruction

The Secure Access to Justice Act (H.R. 1751) was introduced by Rep. Louie Gohmert (Republican from Texas) on April 21, 2005. It was referred to the House Committee on the Judiciary followed by the Subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security where hearings were held as recently as June 30. It proposes amending Title 18 of the United States Code to protect judges, prosecutors, witnesses, victims, and their family members, and for other purposes. Read More

Panel Discusses Differences in Electronic Discovery in New York State and Federal Courts

During the New York State Bar Association’s Annual 2005 Meeting of the Commercial and Federal Litigation Law Section, a panel of attorneys and judges discussed current issues in connection with electronic discovery and differences in state and federal courts.

Federal and New York State electronic discovery cases were noted, with substantial discussion centered upon Judge Scheindlin’s Zubulake decisions. Panelist comments covered topics including spoliation, litigation holds, cost shifting, rule changes, and procedural matters.

A transcript of the discussion, published in NYLitigator, can be found here.

Standing Committee Approves Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

The Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure today approved the amendments submitted by the Civil Rules Advisory Committee addressing discovery of electronically stored information.

The proposed text of each rule was approved without change; some changes were made to the committee notes. The entire package of amendments will be posted here when available.

Further approval is still necessary before the rules go into effect. The Judicial Conference will consider the package at its September 20, 2005 meeting. Then, the Supreme Court will consider it for promulgation (probably by May 1, 2006). An effective date of December 1, 2006 is expected.

This is Spinal Tech

In this month’s issue of Corporate Counsel Magazine, Amy Kolz reports on the amazing technology used in connection with the Medtronic spinal surgical inventions litigation. The case resulted in a $560 million verdict against Medtronic, and a $1.35 billion settlement followed.

Attorneys worked from 9 AM to 8 PM piloting seven black computers from a conference room. These “Death Star Pilots,” flying with Attenex Patterns software, sifted through 44 million electronic pages in less than four months. They succeeded in finding critical documents. “I remember seeing that [critical] document and thinking this is the reason we fought so hard for the electronic information.”

The article can be found here.

Proposed Amendments to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Submitted to Standing Committee

On May 27, 2005, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee submitted to the Standing Committee on the Rules of Practice and Procedure a comprehensive package of proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure addressing discovery of electronically stored information, including revisions of Rules 16, 26, 33, 34, 37, and 45, as well as Form 35. The submission can be found here.

The Standing Committee will consider the proposals at its June 15-16, 2005 meeting. If all the remaining steps of the process proceed on schedule, the rules amendments would go into effect in December 2006.

Perelman Awarded an Additional $850 Million in Punitive Damages in Coleman v. Morgan Stanley

These damages bring the total awarded Perelman to $1.45 billion in this landmark case where Judge Maas ruled that Morgan Stanley had conspired with Sunbeam to defraud Perelman. Judge Maas’ ruling was due to frustration caused by Morgan Stanley’s failure to produce email.

In his closing argument, Morgan Stanley attorney Mark Hansen said that the failure to produce email was due to error and was not indicative of efforts to conceal evidence.

Click here for the story from Reuters.

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