To resolve electronic discovery issues early in legal proceedings, parties often negotiate ESI protocols that define the required formats of production, outline the scope of record preservation required for the matter, and address key issues regarding privilege, confidentiality, and other key discovery considerations. But what happens when parties establish requirements in their ESI protocols that they later cannot fulfill? Three recent case opinions reflect how courts can react negatively to such situations.Read More
Key Insight: At the start of litigation, Plaintiff sent a preservation letter to Defendant(s). Subsequently, a Defendant requested Plaintiff produce records and screenshots of text messages from his phone for the month of the incident that was the basis of the litigation. Plaintiffs produced several screenshots of text messages, but was unable to provide the requested phone records. During a subsequent deposition, Plaintiff claimed that he still had the phone.
Additional Defendants subsequently requested a digital download of all information on the phone. However, in response Plaintiff claimed that he no longer possessed the phone. Defendants responded with a Motion for Terminating Sanctions on the basis of spoliation of evidence.
Utilizing a five-part test for imposing sanctions adopted by the Ninth Circuit, the Court found that none of the factors were in favor of sanctions in the litigation. Defendants’ Motion for Terminating Sanctions was denied.
Nature of Case: Personal Injury
Electronic Data Involved: Cell Phone Data, Cell Phone Data Image, Text Messages, Phone Records