Spoliation

News & Analysis as of

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

I am not a Crook: Avoiding the Politics of Data Preservation with a Defensible E-Discovery Process

Of course we've all heard about Hillary's emails, and Trump certainly has email trouble of his own. For a while, Politwoops kept track of mistweets and other online regrets even after they were deleted until Twitter (and...more

"The E-Discovery Digest - June 2016"

The fourth edition of The E-Discovery Digest focuses on recent decisions addressing the scope and application of the attorney-client privilege and work-product doctrine, spoliation, cost shifting and other e-discovery...more

Want Sanctions? Establish That Relevant Information Was Actually Lost

FiTeq, Inc. v. Venture Corp., No. 13-cv-01946-BLF, 2016 WL 1701794 (N.D. Cal. Apr. 28, 2016). In an order disposing of eleven motions in limine, the court denied the plaintiff’s request for sanctions from alleged...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

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

Ignorance Not Bliss When Destroying Digital Evidence (New York)

NFL Mgmt. Council v. NFL Players Ass’n., 2016 WL 1619883 (2d Cir. Apr. 25, 2016) - In this employment law case (commonly known as “deflategate”), the plaintiff moved for the upholding of an arbitration decision. One of...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

Sanctions Under FED. R. CIV. P. 37(E)

In December 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure went into effect. One of the amended rules, Rule 37(e), was completely rewritten in an attempt to develop a uniform, national standard for the imposition...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

Failure to Stop Automatic Deletion of Text Messages Does Not Merit Sanctions (Florida)

Living Color Enters., Inc. v. New Era Aquaculture, Ltd., 2016 WL 1105297 (S.D. Fla. Mar. 22, 2016) - In this case, the plaintiff motioned for sanctions against the defendant for the deletion of text messages. The...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

Everything Old is New Again: New Sources for Spoliation Sanctions

A recent case in the Middle District of Tennessee highlights the scope and limits of spoliation sanctions under amended Rule 37(e). In Benefield v. MStreet Entertainment, LLC, 2016 WL 374568 (M.D. Tenn., Feb. 1, 2016), the...more

Will Texas Stay Moderate When it Comes to e-Discovery?

With the onslaught of nonstop news concerning the forthcoming presidential election, and the extreme positions the various camps frequently take, moderation and reasonableness, especially in Texas, seems to be on the wane....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

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

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

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