Electronic Discovery Law

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

1
Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. M1 5100 Corp., d/b/a Jumbo Supermarket, Inc. (S.D. Fl. , 2020)
2
Denson v. Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (D. Utah, 2020)
3
US EEOC v The George Washington University (D.D.C. 2020)
4
Lawson v. Spirit Aerosystems (Kansas, 2020)
5
Optronic Techs., Inc. v. Ningbo Sunny Elec. Co. (N.D. Cal., 2020)
6
Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. 2020)
7
Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. May 22, 2020)
8
WeRide Corp. v. Kun Huang (N.D. Cal., 2020)
9
Brittney Gobble Photography, LLC v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (D. Md. 2020)
10
In re Fluor Intercontinental, Inc., 803 Fed.Appx. 697 (4th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020)

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission v. M1 5100 Corp., d/b/a Jumbo Supermarket, Inc. (S.D. Fl. , 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant “self-collected” without involvement of counsel. Court gave defendant one last chance to produce as 5 months remained in discovery, with active involvement of counsel.

Nature of Case: Age discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Various ESI

Keywords: certification, party collection

View Case Opinion

Denson v. Corp. of the President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints (D. Utah, 2020)

Key Insight: Plaintiff’s explanation regarding loss of evidence had changed and court ruled that defendant was entitled to have a third party collect and preserve the evidence. Plaintiff offered passwords to accounts, but court was concerned about possible destruction given Plaintiff’s changing explanation regarding social media accounts and recording.

Nature of Case: Sexual Assault

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic Devices and Cloud Based Accounts; Recording of conversation

Keywords: invasion of privacy, loss of evidence

View Case Opinion

US EEOC v The George Washington University (D.D.C. 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant was ordered to produce non-privileged emails responsive to RFP’s. Linear reivew proposed by Defendant wasn’t necessary and other paths existed. Concerns that potential production of privileged information was not enough to justify withholding. Defendant claimed a document by document review was needed, but court believed claw back provisions would be sufficient.

Nature of Case: employment discrimination

Electronic Data Involved: Email

Keywords: review process, 502, privilege

View Case Opinion

Lawson v. Spirit Aerosystems (Kansas, 2020)

Key Insight: When plaintiff was allowed to dictate defendant’s electronic discovery process, cost shifting to plaintiff is appropriate when electronic discovery performed was not proportionate to the case

Nature of Case: Employment non-compete agreement

Electronic Data Involved: Electronic records

Keywords: Cost shifting, technology assisted review, TAR, aerospace

View Case Opinion

Optronic Techs., Inc. v. Ningbo Sunny Elec. Co. (N.D. Cal., 2020)

Key Insight: Counsel must be involved with discovery to certify process followed. Counsel’s lack of involvement warranted sanctions in this case.

Nature of Case: Antitrust

Electronic Data Involved: Various ESI

Keywords: sanctions, certification

View Case Opinion

Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. 2020)

Key Insight: The plaintiffs, current and former mortgage/residential loan officers of defendant, filed a motion for spoliation sanctions and entry of default judgment against defendant based on the failure to preserve and intentional destruction of email accounts and calendar data. The court found: (1) the ESI was relevant to the claims in the lawsuit; (2) defendant breached its duties by intentionally destroying ESI after learning that employees had accused defendant of not paying overtime and after being threatened with a lawsuit, and even after the lawsuit was filed and formal requests for production were received, it paid to order the destruction of additional backup tapes; and (3) the evidence is irretrievably lost. The court declined to enter a default judgment, concluding “[t]he availability of less drastic sanctions that have the ability to mitigate the damage caused by defendant’s egregious destruction of evidence is a powerful factor that militates against imposing dispositive sanctions.”

Nature of Case: Wage and Hour Class Action

Electronic Data Involved: Email and calendar accounts

Case Summary

Bolding v. Banner Bank (W.D. Wash. May 22, 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant deleted backup tapes after litigation hold notice issued. Spoliation occurred, but no default judgment

Nature of Case: class-action employment

Electronic Data Involved: Backup tapes

Keywords: sanctions, backup tapes, destruction

View Case Opinion

WeRide Corp. v. Kun Huang (N.D. Cal., 2020)

Key Insight: Defendant’s failure to suspend document retention policy resulted in loss of evidence and court ordered judgment against Defendant. Plaintiff also showed evidence that USB Drives had been inserted into a shared laptop and files deleted. Defendants actions had made it impossible for Plaintiff to prove case.

Nature of Case: Trade Secrets

Electronic Data Involved: USB Drives inserted into company laptop; Email accounts

Keywords: records retention policy, spoliation, sanctions

View Case Opinion

Brittney Gobble Photography, LLC v. Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc. (D. Md. 2020)

Key Insight: Plaintiff, a professional photographer, filed a motion for spoliation sanctions against the defendant, claiming the deletion of emails were crucial to the claims and defenses in the litigation. The court denied plaintiff’s motion, finding: there is no evidence that the emails at issue actually existed, and an inference that they did not exist; if the emails existed, there is no evidence that the defendant lost or destroyed any emails in order to prevent plaintiff from using them in the litigation; and plaintiff is not prejudiced by the purported loss. Plaintiff never proved that the purported emails existed and to succeed on a spoliation of evidence motion, mere speculation is not enough.

Nature of Case: Copyright infringement

Electronic Data Involved: Emails

Case Summary

In re Fluor Intercontinental, Inc., 803 Fed.Appx. 697 (4th Cir. Mar. 25, 2020)

Key Insight: Disclosure of summary of internal investigation did not waive privilege of underlying documents. Waiver not inferred simply because of disclosure of materials on same topic.

Nature of Case: employment dispute

Electronic Data Involved: internal investigation files

Keywords: waiver, privilege

View Case Opinion

Copyright © 2022, K&L Gates LLP. All Rights Reserved.