Tag: CASE SUMMARIES

1
Citing Proportionality, Court Concludes it would be “Senseless” to Require Plaintiff to “Go to Great Lengths” to Produce Evidence Defendants are “Able to Do Without”
2
Court Warns “Continuing Problems” with Document Production Will Result in Order to Retain an e-Discovery Vendor
3
Willful or Grossly Negligent Destruction of ESI Allows Presumption of Prejudice
4
Timing of Defendant’s Actions Weighs Heavily in Analysis of Spoliation Sanctions
5
Citing the Lack of a Clear Distinction between the Two Tiers of Discovery, Court Adopts “Practical Approach” for Addressing Disputes over Scope
6
Stored Communications Act Does Not Apply to Unauthorized Access to Previously Opened Emails
7
No Sanctions for Routine Deletion of Text Messages “so as not to unduly encumber” Cell Phones
8
No Sanctions for Deletion of Email Folder belonging to “Perhaps the Key Witness” Absent Evidence of Prejudice
9
When is an Adverse Inference Instruction Not a Sanction?
10
Conducting “Traditional Relevance Analysis,” Court Denies Full Access to Plaintiff’s Social Networking Accounts

Citing Proportionality, Court Concludes it would be “Senseless” to Require Plaintiff to “Go to Great Lengths” to Produce Evidence Defendants are “Able to Do Without”

Apple Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co. Ltd., No. 12-CV-0630-LHK (PSG), 2013 WL 4426512 (N.D. Cal. Aug. 14, 2013)

Relying on the “all-to-often [sic] ignored discovery principle” of proportionality the court declined to compel Plaintiff “to go to great lengths” to produce information that the defendants could “do without.”

Read More

Court Warns “Continuing Problems” with Document Production Will Result in Order to Retain an e-Discovery Vendor

Logtale, Ltd. v. IKOR, Inc., No. C-11-05452 CW (DMR), 2013 WL 3967750 (N.D. Cal. July 31, 2013)

Plaintiff sought to compel Defendants’ production of all responsive documents and also sought sanctions, including attorneys’ fees and an order requiring Defendants “to retain an e-discovery vendor to conduct a thorough and adequate search for responsive electronic documents.”  Acknowledging that it shared Plaintiff’s concerns “about the inadequacy of Defendants’ search for responsive documents,” the court granted Plaintiff’s motion to compel and also granted the request for attorneys’ fees (although at a reduced rate).  The court declined to order the retention of an e-discovery vendor “at this time,” but warned that such an order would be entered if problems with Defendants’ document production continued.

Read More

Willful or Grossly Negligent Destruction of ESI Allows Presumption of Prejudice

Sekisui Am. Corp. v. Hart, —F. Supp. 2d—, 2013 WL 4116322 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 15, 2013)

Previously in this case, the Magistrate Judge declined to impose spoliation sanctions for Plaintiff’s deletion of emails and other ESI belonging to two important custodians absent a showing that the defendants were prejudiced by the destruction.  Upon Defendants’ objections, the district court reversed the denial of sanctions and imposed an adverse inference and monetary sanctions.  In doing so, the court reasoned that prejudice was presumed because the evidence was destroyed intentionally and explained that no showing of malice was required.

Read More

Timing of Defendant’s Actions Weighs Heavily in Analysis of Spoliation Sanctions

Barrette Outdoor Living, Inc. v. Michigan Resin Representatives, No. 11-13335, 2013 WL 3983230 (E.D. Mich. Aug. 1, 2013)

For Defendant’s bad faith failure to preserve his cellular phone and his deletion of 270,000 files from his personal laptop using scrubbing software, the district court adopted the recommendations of the Magistrate Judge and ordered monetary sanctions equaling $35,000 and an irrefutable adverse inference that the phone and deleted files would have contained information unfavorable to the defendant, including that Defendant was involved with the company allegedly created for the “pass-through” scheme on which Plaintiff’s claims were based.

Read More

Citing the Lack of a Clear Distinction between the Two Tiers of Discovery, Court Adopts “Practical Approach” for Addressing Disputes over Scope

DCP Midstream LP v. Anadarko Petroleum Corp., —P.3d—, 2013 WL 3225846 (Colo. June 24, 2013)

In this breach of contract case, the Colorado Supreme Court addressed the court’s role in managing the scope of discovery under Colorado Rule of Civil Procedure 26(b)(1)—which was amended in 2002 “to conform to its federal counterpart.”  The court concluded that “when a scope objection is raised, C.R.C.P. 26(b) requires the trial court to take an active role managing discovery and to determine the appropriate scope of discovery in light of the reasonable needs of the case,” and held that “to resolve a dispute regarding the proper scope of discovery in a particular case, the trial court should, at a minimum, consider the cost-benefit and proportionality factors set forth in C.R.C.P. 26(b)(2)(F).” 

Read More

Stored Communications Act Does Not Apply to Unauthorized Access to Previously Opened Emails

Lazette v. Kulmatycki, —F. Supp. 2d—, 2013 WL 2455937 (N.D. Ohio June 5, 2013)

When Plaintiff’s employment ended and she returned her company-issued Blackberry, she believed that she had deleted her personal email account.  She was mistaken.  Thereafter, her former supervisor, without her knowledge or authorization, proceeded to access and read her personal emails—48,000 of them—during the ensuing eighteen months. Plaintiff also believed that he shared the contents of those emails with others.  Plaintiff sued her former supervisor and her former employer for violation of the Stored Communications Act (“SCA”), among other things.  Defendants sought dismissal of Plaintiff’s SCA claims.  The court held that Plaintiff could not prevail on claims based on access to emails she had previously opened but not deleted, but declined to dismiss claims based on those emails that were accessed by the former supervisor before being opened by the plaintiff.

Read More

No Sanctions for Routine Deletion of Text Messages “so as not to unduly encumber” Cell Phones

PTSI, Inc. v. Haley,—A.3d—, 2013 WL 2285109 (Pa. Super. Ct. May 24, 2013)

Plaintiff sued its former employees after they opened a competing sports training facility.  In the course of litigation, Plaintiff sought sanctions for Defendants’ alleged spoliation of ESI, including text messages.  The trial court found that “the level of importance and complexity of the issues did not weigh in favor of imposing sanctions and that the deleted material was not relevant or important to its decision” and dismissed the claim for sanctions.  On appeal, the appellate court found no abuse of discretion and affirmed the order.

Read More

No Sanctions for Deletion of Email Folder belonging to “Perhaps the Key Witness” Absent Evidence of Prejudice

Sekisui Am. Corp. v. Hart, No. 12 Civ. 3479(SAS)(FM), 2013 WL 2951924 (S.D.N.Y. June 10, 2013)

In this case, the court considered Plaintiff’s “at least” negligent deletion of “the entire active email folder of an important witness—perhaps the key witness—at a time when [it] obviously knew that it might commence a lawsuit,” but declined to impose the requested adverse inference—or any sanction—absent a sufficient showing that “relevant information potentially helpful to [the defendants] [wa]s no longer available.”

Read More

When is an Adverse Inference Instruction Not a Sanction?

Mali v. Fed. Ins. Co., —F.3d—, 2013 WL 2631369 (2d Cir. June 13, 2013)

Here, the Second Circuit addressed the difference between an adverse inference instruction as a sanction and an instruction “that simply explains to the jurors inferences they are free to draw in considering circumstantial evidence” and determined that the at-issue instruction was not a sanction and that the trial court did not err.  The instruction permitted jurors to infer that an unproduced photograph was unfavorable to Plaintiffs, provided they believed that the photograph was in the plaintiffs’ possession and that the non-production was not satisfactorily explained.

Read More

Conducting “Traditional Relevance Analysis,” Court Denies Full Access to Plaintiff’s Social Networking Accounts

Giacchetto v. Patchogue-Medford Union Free School Dist., No. CV 11-6323(ADS)(AKT), 2013 WL 2897054 (E.D.N.Y. May 6, 2013)

In this case, the court conducted a “traditional relevance analysis” to assess Defendant’s request for broad access to Plaintiff’s social networking accounts and concluded that only limited discovery was appropriate.  Specifically, the court concluded that “unfettered access to Plaintiff’s social networking history will not be permitted simply because Plaintiff has a claim for emotional distress damages.”  Thus, the court ordered Plaintiff’s counsel to review Plaintiff’s postings and to produce those determined to be relevant, “keeping in mind the broad scope of discovery contemplated under Rule 26.”

Read More

Copyright © 2018, K&L Gates LLP. All Rights Reserved.