News & Analysis as of

High Noon at the Train Station: Social Media and Modern E-Discovery

Most people take time zones for granted these days, but it was this week in 1883 that railroad companies in both Canada and the United States started using four continental time zones. Until then, time was local, based on...more

2015 Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Provide Opportunities for More Aggressive Case Management

On December 1, 2015, substantial changes to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP or Rules) will take effect. The Rule changes affect many aspects of federal court practice, most significantly with respect to the scope...more

No Matter Where You Go, There You Are: How Employee Movements Cause Major E-Discovery Risk

We lose things. Keys, phones, remotes. When I was a kid, if I told my mom that I couldn’t find something, she’d reply, “If I go in your room and find it, you’ll be in big trouble,” so I’d rush back in and look everywhere...more

Recent W.D. Pa. Opinion Illustrates the Difficulties in Obtaining Spoliation Sanctions

A recent decision from the United States District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania reiterated just how difficult it is for a party to obtain spoliation sanctions. In Flanders v. Dzugan, No 12-1481, 2015 WL...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

Court Denies Spoliation Motion, Stating that Sanctions would not Alter Case Outcome (New York)

Deanda v. Hicks, 2015 WL 5730345 (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 30, 2015)- In this constitutional rights violation case, the plaintiff claimed that the defendant intentionally engaged in the spoliation of audio and video tapes...more

Success in Discovery Requires More Than the Best-Laid Plans of Mice and Men

According to popular legend, in 1786, Scottish poet Robert Burns wrote that the “best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry” as part of his apology to a mouse whose nest he destroyed while ploughing a field. These words...more

Reducing Your Company’s Exposure to Trade Secret Litigation when Key Employees Come and Go

THE NIGHTMARE SCENARIO - Within the span of two weeks, Mr. Smith and Mr. Wilson, two top managers from your $2 billion corporation, resign. Both managers had complete, unfettered access to your corporation’s trade...more

ESI Discovery Best Practices, Part 6 – Now comes the bad news … potential consequences for inadequate preservation of ESI.

Over the past year, I have blogged about ESI rules and best practices for identification, preservation and collection of ESI. In this blog I want to focus on the potential consequences for inadequate efforts in any of these...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

Looking Back on 2014: The 7 Most Important eDiscovery Cases in Delaware - Part 4

In the ISN case, the Petitioners filed a Petition for Appraisal, requesting that the Court make an independent valuation of the company under Section 262. In this Motion to Compel hearing, the Respondent called to the stand...more

eWorkplace Policies Restricting Employees’ Acceptable Use of Technology, Social Media & The Cloud

I. OVERVIEW – THE MODERN LANDSCAPE - A. Physical Conduct PLUS Digital Activity - Traditional concerns for employers have included: conduct leading to liability to third-parties; “frolic and detour” or other...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

Court Grants Sanctions In Light of Reckless Failure to Preserve (Delaware)

Kan-Di-Ki, LLC v. Suer, 2015 WL 4503210 (Del. Ch. July 22, 2015). In this breach of contract case, the plaintiff alleged that the defendant engaged in suppression and spoliation of evidence when the defendant deleted...more

Get to Know the E-Discovery Changes to the FRCP

Five years ago, a group of judges and legal professionals comprising the Federal Civil Rules Advisory Committee met at Duke University to begin the discussion of potential e-discovery rule changes to the Federal Rules of...more

Texts, Lies and Footballs: Tom Brady, “Deflategate,” and What’s Next?

Since we last discussed “Deflategate,” New England Patriots Quarterback Tom Brady appealed his four-game suspension resulting from the NFL’s finding that he had committed “conduct detrimental to the league,” based on 1) his...more

Hold the (cell) phone! NFL Lawsuit May Hinge on Spoliation

Across New England, armchair attorneys and quarterbacks alike are talking spoliation, discovery, and cell phones. With National Football League Commissioner Roger Goodell’s announcement of his decision on New England...more

Socially Aware - Volume 6, Issue 3 - July/August 2015

Welcome to the newest issue of Socially Aware, our Burton Award winning guide to the law and business of social media. In this edition, we present a “grand unifying theory” of today’s leading technologies and the legal...more

Bad Faith Needed for Court to Rule in Favor of Spoliation Sanctions (Illinois)

Charvat v. Valente, 2015 WL 4037776 (N.D. Ill. July 1, 2015) - In this employment case, the plaintiffs alleged that the defendant corporation had engaged in spoliation when it deleted certain files from its employees’...more

IP Newsflash - July 2015 #3

DISTRICT COURT CASES - Expert Witness’ Flawed Infringement Opinion Supports an Award of Attorneys’ Fees - Defendants Six Flags Theme Parks Inc. sought an award of attorneys’ fees under 35 U.S.C. § 285 against...more

Court Takes Middle Ground in Balancing ESI Production Costs (Texas)

F & J Samame, Inc. v. Arco Iris Ice Cream, 2015 WL 4068575 (W.D. Tex. July 2, 2015) - In this trademark dispute case, the plaintiff raised a Lanham Act claim against the defendants’ company, claiming that the defendants’...more

Spoliation: How to Stop Trouble from Brewing

When a business is faced with the potential for litigation, it is imperative that all evidence be preserved to avoid the dreaded “s” word: spoliation. Starbucks Corporation recently learned this lesson the hard way when a...more

Necessary Ingredients for Sound Legal Holds

Whenever e-discovery and healthcare litigation and investigations come up, you can almost always count on the topic to include a discussion of sanctions. That’s not an accident. There has been an uptick in both the volume of...more

SMS: Spoliation Made Simple?

Text messages have become an increasingly important and confusing topic in litigation. As a communication tool, text messages are on the rise and are typically seen as less formal and more immediate than even email. Immediacy...more

Gone, But Not Forgotten – A Deactivated Facebook Account Can Be Discoverable

Courts have long grappled with social media in a legal context. The struggle to understand social media issues — and to craft coherent applicable legal policy — renders Crowe v. Marquette Transportation Co. Gulf-Inland, LLC...more

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