Electronic Discovery Law

Legal issues, news and best practices relating to the discovery of electronically stored information.

 

1
Court Fines CEO and Chastises Corporate Counsel for Failure to Preserve Documents
2
Plaintiff May Attempt Recovery of Deleted Files at Its Own Cost
3
Court Denies Motion to Compel Production from Backup Tapes
4
Plaintiff Allowed to Pursue Recovery of Deleted Email at Its Own Expense
5
Court Denies Ex Parte Order to Preserve Electronic Evidence
6
Court Imposes Sanctions and Solicits Spoliation Instructions; Motion to Compel Production from Backup Tapes Reserved
7
Sanctions Denied when Data Destroyed Absent Bad Faith or Showing of Prejudice
8
Court Allows Examination of Hard Drive and Servers
9
Court Denies Restoration of Deleted Files in Favor of Targeted Searches
10
Court Need Not Compel Hard Copy Production where More Reasonable Accommodation Available

Court Fines CEO and Chastises Corporate Counsel for Failure to Preserve Documents

Danis v. USN Communications, Inc., 2000 WL 1694325, 53 Fed.R.Serv.3d 828 (N.D. Ill. 2000)

After a protracted discovery dispute in which the parties collectively spent over $1.5 million litigating the issue of sanctions, the court determined that the defendants had failed to take adequate steps to preserve potentially relevant documents. Read More

Plaintiff May Attempt Recovery of Deleted Files at Its Own Cost

Simon Prop. Group L.P. v. mySimon, Inc., 194 F.R.D. 639 (S.D. Ind. 2000)

Although the factual record on plaintiff’s motion to compel was “extremely sparse,” the court found that plaintiff had shown “some troubling discrepancies with respect to defendant’s document production.” 194 F.R.D. at 641. The court ruled that the plaintiff was entitled to attempt – at its own expense – the task of recovering deleted computer files from computers used by four key players, whether at home or at work. Id. Read More

Plaintiff Allowed to Pursue Recovery of Deleted Email at Its Own Expense

Playboy Ent., Inc. v. Welles, 60 F.Supp.2d 1050 (S.D. Cal. 1999)

After a third party produced email communications between itself and defendant, plaintiff followed up with defense counsel to inquire why the emails had not been produced by defendant. During the meet and confer discussions, plaintiff learned that defendant had a custom and practice of deleting emails shortly after she sent or received them, regardless of their content. Plaintiff sought access to defendant’s hard drive for the purpose of recovering emails that may be relevant to the litigation. Read More

Court Denies Ex Parte Order to Preserve Electronic Evidence

Adobe Sys., Inc. v. South Sun Prods., Inc., 187 F.R.D. 636 (S.D. Cal. 1999)

Software makers sued for copyright infringement, alleging that the defendant had purchased single copies of certain software packages and installed software on multiple computers. On the same day the complaint was filed, plaintiffs sought an ex parte preservation order, arguing that the defendant could easily remove evidence of infringement by deleting software from its computers. Read More

Court Imposes Sanctions and Solicits Spoliation Instructions; Motion to Compel Production from Backup Tapes Reserved

Linnen v. A.H. Robbins Co., 1999 WL 462015 (Mass. Super. June 16, 1999)

Plaintiffs moved to compel the production of email restored from defendant’s backup tapes. The estimated cost of restoration of the tapes and retrieval of responsive email ranged between $300,000 to over $1.4 million. Read More

Sanctions Denied when Data Destroyed Absent Bad Faith or Showing of Prejudice

N.Y. Nat’l Org. for Women v. Cuomo, 1998 WL 395320 (S.D.N.Y. July 14, 1998)

Potentially relevant material was lost when, at the end of the Cuomo administration, computer databases containing letters and reports sent to the governor, outgoing letters, internal memoranda, monthly summary reports and electronic mail, along with information saved by individual employees on personal computers, were deleted. Read More

Court Allows Examination of Hard Drive and Servers

Alexander v. FBI., 186 F.R.D. 78 (D.D.C. 1998)

Former government official involved in the “Filegate” investigation testified in deposition that he deleted material from his computer when he changed positions within his department. The court noted that, despite official’s claims that he printed out relevant material before deleting it, “cause for concern should exist when an upper-level government employee completely deletes his hard drive when this hard drive may have information relevant to an on-going criminal investigation, let alone the instant case.” 186 F.R.D. at 96. Read More

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