Duty to Preserve

News & Analysis as of

Party’s Willful Destruction of Data Did Not “Optimize” the Case for Dismissal

Ericksen v. Kaplan Higher Educ., LLC, No. RDB-14-3106, 2016 WL 695789 (D. Md. Feb. 22, 2016). Where a plaintiff “willfully [ran] a computer program that she knew, given her computer expertise, would destroy at least some...more

Looking Back on 2015: The 6 Most Important eDiscovery Cases in Delaware - Part 1

In re: ISN Software Corporation Appraisal Litigation, C.A. No. 8388–VCG, Oral Argument on Petitioners Motion to Compel and Partial Rulings of the Court, April 27, 2015. In this fifth motion to compel before Vice...more

The Failure to Issue a Legal Hold Can Cause a Case to Crash and Burn

Bruner v. Am. Honda Motor Co., No. 1:15-00499-N, 2016 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 62810 (S.D. Ala. May 12, 2016). Where a defendant had never initiated a legal hold and had been continuously deleting e-mails since litigation began,...more

Spoliation Claims Are Not a Recreational Vehicle to Be Raised at Any Time in a Case

LaFerrera v. Camping World RV Sales of Birmingham, No. 15-00473 (N.D. Ala. Mar. 21, 2016). Relying on state law, the court rejected a request for spoliation sanctions included as part of a motion for summary judgment...more

E-discovery and the Duty to Preserve

If you’re involved in a suit in federal court, then the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure apply to you. Rule 26(b) provides, among other things, that parties may obtain discovery regarding any non-privileged matter that is...more

Yes, Counselor, You Argued That Below, But No, It Is Not Preserved

Don’t assume that just because your argument is clearly reflected somewhere in the record that it is preserved for appeal. Often for purposes of preservation, the procedural context for the argument is just as important as...more

Quirky Question #281: Deploying the DTSA

Question: We believe our former employee recently stole some of our trade secrets and went to a competitor. Can we rely on the Defend Trade Secrets Act to bring suit in federal court?...more

Zapproved’s Brad Harris on Fundamentals of a Good Evidentiary Preservation Plan

The duty to preserve evidence is well established; litigants must take reasonable steps to ensure information is not deleted or altered once the duty arises. The duty to preserve applies equally to both plaintiff and...more

You Can’t Delete and You Can’t “Hide” (New York)

Thurmond v. Bowman, 2016 WL 1295957 (W.D.N.Y. Mar. 31, 2016) - In this Fair Housing Act case, the defendants motioned for sanctions against the plaintiff for deleting Facebook posts. The plaintiff argued that the posts...more

Court Holds High Bar for Imposing Sanctions under Rule 37(e) (Texas)

Orchestratehr, Inc. v. Trombetta, 2016 WL 1555784 (N.D. Tex. Apr. 18, 2016) - In this case regarding a non-compete agreement, plaintiffs motioned for sanctions against one of the defendants for deleting emails which they...more

Litigants Need to Prove Existence of Missing Data for FRCP 37(e) Sanctions California

FiTeq Inc. v. Venture Corp., 2016 WL 1701794 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 28, 2016) - In this contract law case, the plaintiff moved for sanctions against the defendant for failing to produce emails related to the litigation. Namely,...more

Litigation Holds and Spoliation Issues

When the need arises, a litigation hold should be implemented quickly and effectively to avoid the inadvertent destruction or overwriting of potentially responsive data. The time to implement a litigation hold may be when it...more

Looking Back on 2015: The 6 Most Important eDiscovery Cases in Delaware

2015 saw continued interest by the Delaware courts in various aspects of eDiscovery. The courts dealt with broad issues, such as spoliation and general discovery misconduct, while also focusing on narrower issues, such as...more

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

Case and Sanctions Dismissed in Light of New Evidence (New York)

CAT3, LLC v. Black Lineage, Inc., No. 14 Civ. 5511 (S.D.N.Y. Apr. 4, 2016) - In this trademark infringement case, the parties stipulated to dismissal, with prejudice, of all remaining claims in the case. Previously, the...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

Preservation of ESI Under Rule 37(e)

In the short amount of time since the amendment to Rule 37(e) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, courts have confronted the task of applying the parameters of this newly revised Rule. Importantly, in contrast to the...more

The Scheindlin eDiscovery Legacy

At the end of April, the matriarch of eDiscovery, U.S. District Judge Shira A. Scheindlin, will step down from the bench. Since her appointment in 1994, Judge Scheindlin has presided over numerous high-profile trials,...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

Be Reasonable: What Judges Will Be Looking For When it Comes to Rule 37(e)

In a recent article published by ACEDS, a lively discussion about the recently amended FRCP Rule 37 takes place. It seems that the amendment was written in the wee hours the night before they were presented publicly as a...more

Further Assistance to Help Rein In Employee Lawsuits: Key Amendments to Court Rules on Discovery in Litigation

On December 1, 2015, several amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure took effect. While some changes are rather minor, others are expected to have a significant impact on litigation in federal court. Lawyers have...more

Federal Court Offers Clues in How the Newly Amended Rule 37(e) Will Be Applied When Electronically Stored Information Is Not...

Among the most significant changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that went into effect in December 2015 were amendments to Rule 37(e), which defines spoliation in the context of electronically stored information...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

10 Tips for Litigation Hold Plans

A “litigation hold plan” guides an organization in carrying out its evidence preservation obligations. Many factors come into play when the need to preserve records is triggered, and each organization has unique systems,...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

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