Adverse Inference Instructions

News & Analysis as of

Can Amended Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(E) Rewrite Plaintiffs' Spoliation Playbook?

The application of Rule 37(e) may limit spoliation litigation to issues relevant to underlying claims and defenses. A key component in plaintiffs’ playbook when facing a corporate defendant is to attempt to try cases...more

Claims of Lightning Strike and Power Surge Fail to Protect Against Sanctions (California)

InternMatch v. Nxtbigthing, 2016 WL 491483 (N.D. Cal. Feb. 8, 2016) - In this trademark infringement case, the plaintiff brought terminating sanctions against the defendants, accusing the defendants of intentionally...more

Adverse Inference Instruction Issued in Light of Newly Amended Rule 37(e) (Florida)

Brown Jordan Int’l v. Carmicle, 2016 WL 815827 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 2, 2016) - In this wrongful termination case, the defendant employee sought the return of his personal laptop from the company plaintiffs, who refused to...more

Court Vacates Prior Adverse Inference Order in Light of Amended Rule 37(e) (California)

Nuvasive v. Madsen Med., 2016 WL 305096 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 26, 2016) - In this case, the court granted the plaintiff’s motion to vacate a prior order that imposed an adverse inference for the plaintiff’s failure to preserve...more

E-Discovery Update: Changes to Rule 37’s Failure-to-Preserve-ESI Sanctions Impact Recent Rulings

For years, companies have battled different sanction standards for the failure to preserve documents. This led to over-preservation, where, to avoid accusations of “negligent” failure, companies preserved every shred of...more

Court States that Plaintiffs’ Overly Broad Requests Do Not Justify Defendants’ Failure to Issue Litigation Hold (New York)

Stinson v. City of New York, 2016 WL 54684 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 5, 2016) - In this civil rights lawsuit, the court found the city-defendants to be grossly negligent in issuing and executing its litigation hold for the...more

Steps Companies May Take to Comply with Revised Document Retention Requirements

Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) sets forth the requirements for the retention of electronically stored information ("ESI") and the corresponding sanctions available to remedy the loss of ESI. New amendments to Rule...more

The E-Discovery Digest - February 2016

This is the third edition of The E-Discovery Digest, a periodic publication on notable decisions relating to key discovery topics. It is designed to keep clients up to date on the evolving state of the law regarding discovery...more

E-Discovery and Information Management: New Federal Rules Provide Welcome Relief to Businesses Facing Electronic Document...

A recent amendment to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e) abrogates a series of federal court decisions that imposed harsh "adverse inference" sanctions on litigants that failed to initiate litigation holds to preserve...more

Can Plaintiffs Seek an Adverse Inference from Defendant Corporations' Privilege Assertions?

The attorney-client privilege benefits society by encouraging clients' frank disclosure to their lawyers, but it undeniably conceals highly relevant communications. Surprisingly, only a few courts have addressed plaintiffs'...more

Government Can Fail to Preserve Too, Court Awards Sanctions (New Jersey)

United States v. Vaughn, 2015 WL 6948577 (D. N.J. Nov. 10, 2015) - In this criminal case, a pro se defendant sought to dismiss the indictment and other sanctions for the government’s failure to preserve text messages...more

The 2015 FRCP Amendments: ‘Tis the Season

Hoping to find the perfect gift for the ediscovery professional in your life? Look no further than the 2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP)....more

NYCAL Presiding Judge Rules Manufacturer Should Have Reasonably Anticipated Asbestos Litigation 10 Years Before First Lawsuit

On November 5, 2015, Judge Peter H. Moulton, presiding judge over the New York City Asbestos Litigation (NYCAL), ruled in Warren v. AmChem Products, et al., 190281/2014, that J-M Manufacturing Company, Inc., was subject to...more

The Top Ten Things Every Commercial Litigator Must Know About the Fifth Amendment

Invoking the Fifth Amendment privilege is not just for scenes from Law & Order or Better Call Saul. These days commercial cases, especially those involving individual defendants, are commonly filled with claims that have...more

The E-Discovery Digest - October 2015

In This Issue: - Attorney-Client Privilege/Work Product Decisions: ..Decisions Protecting Against Disclosure ..Decisions Ordering Disclosure Other - Spoliation Decisions: ..Spoliation Sanctions...more

Proposed Changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure for ESI

With the widespread use of electronic communication methods, discovery is often the most onerous, time-consuming and costly aspects of litigation. Case law has established that a party has a duty to preserve information when...more

Failure to Engage in Basic Litigation Hold Results in Sanction (California)

HM Electronics, Inc. v. R.F. Technologies, Inc., 2015 WL 4714908 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 7, 2015) - In this trademark infringement case, the plaintiff claimed that the defendants interfered with the plaintiff’s prospective...more

Court Allows Adverse Inference Instruction for Failure to Preserve Text Messages

On July 22, 2015, the District Court of the Southern District of California granted in part a motion from Defendants to give an adverse inference instruction to a jury regarding text messages from employees that were not...more

Failure to Prepare for Litigation Results in Adverse Inference Instructions (California)

NuVasive, Inc. v. Madsen Med., Inc., 2015 WL 4479147 (S.D. Cal. July 22, 2015). In this conspiracy theory case, the defendants filed a motion for sanctions against the plaintiff, alleging that the plaintiff engaged in...more

The 5th Amendment In Civil Practice: 3 Big Considerations

The right to remain silent and not testify at your own criminal trial is well known within the legal community and among the public. A defendant “taking the fifth” has been depicted in movies and television shows, and...more

Gross Negligence in Destruction of Attorney Computer Leads to Adverse Inference Sanction (New York)

Dorchester Fin. Holdings Corp. v. Banco BRJ S.A., 2014 WL 7051380 (S.D.N.Y. Dec. 15, 2014). In this contract case, the plaintiff alleged a contract with the defendant, who disputed the authenticity of the contract and...more

Jan. 26 at the Faruqi sex harassment trial: NSFW!

PARENTAL ADVISORY: This is testimony in a sexual harassment case, so it’s necessarily NSFW (Not Suitable For Work. Unless you’re an employment lawyer or HR professional, in which case it’s AIADW (All In A Day’s Work).)...more

Bad Faith Spoliation of Audio Data Results in Adverse Inference Instruction (New York)

Novick v. AXA Network, LLC, 2014 WL 5364100 (S.D.N.Y. Oct. 22, 2014). In this contract dispute case, the plaintiff made a motion for sanctions under Rule 37(b)(2) requesting the court strike the defendants’ answer and...more

Defendant’s Gross Negligence Leads to Adverse Inference Instruction (New York)

Riley v. Marriott Int’l, 2014 WL 4794657 (W.D. N.Y. Sept. 25, 2014). In this personal injury case, the plaintiffs sought video surveillance and “sweep logs” after one of the plaintiffs slipped and fell in the...more

Pursuit of a “Smoking Gun” May Be a Recipe for Disaster

In the U.S District Court for the Northern District of Illinois, Judge Matthew F. Kennelly recently held that plaintiffs alleging price-fixing in the text messaging market were not entitled to an adverse inference after...more

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