LitSmart

  • Legal Updates

    The Duty to Preserve Evidence May Begin Before Formal Notice of Litigation

    The preservation of, or failure to preserve, ESI in a litigation context provides ample opportunities for counsel to stumble and is a fertile area of case law. In this blog we will look at Hollis v. CEVA Logistics U.S., Inc., No. 19 CV 50135, (N.D. Ill. May 19, 2022), an interesting little case in which the Court found that a curative jury instruction was warranted in a matter where the defendant CEVA failed to preserve video evidence of an altercation between the plaintiff Hollis and another employee which resulted in Hollis’s termination. This case is instructive in that it discusses in some detail the  “five threshold requirements” (Hollis, at 2) to impose remedies for failure to preserve ESI under Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(e) as well as the issues of intent to deprive plaintiff of the evidence and of prejudice to the plaintiff. The case is particularly interesting, however, in that it illustrates the potential difficulties in recognizing when a duty to preserve arises, particularly with respect to short-lived, ephemeral evidence that is destroyed or overwritten well before formal litigation commences.

  • Forensic Exam of a Mobile Device
    Legal Updates

    When a Forensic Exam of a Mobile Device May Be Warranted

    While requests for email communications and collections from hard drives and networks are standard in today’s litigation, a party’s text messages, and collections from mobile devices are oftentimes overlooked. A narrowly tailored motion to compel forensic exam can be a valuable discovery tool to analyze the data on a party’s mobile phone. This blog analyzes the factors that led a court in the Northern District of Illinois to order the forensic imaging and collection of a party's mobile phone.

  • Data Mapping
    Technology Advantage

    Data Mapping - Why is it Important for Successful E-Discovery?

    A data map is usually something that is generated along with a data retention plan and is a great starting point if and when an organization becomes involved in litigation and discovery. Long before litigation and discovery, however, it is important to understand the relevant data sources that may be in play and where those can be found within the organization’s various data systems. This blog explains what a data map is, what it contains and how it is helpful.

  • The Modern Attachment
    Legal Updates

    The Modern Attachment: How to Handle Hyperlinked Documents in Emails

    Document management systems allow users to send a link to a document directly from the system, ensuring that all recipients receive the same, most up to date version, and, often most importantly when it comes to efficiency, ensuring that only one person is working in a draft document at a time. When we email links to these documents, the document itself is not attached to the email; rather, a hyperlink to the document where it is housed on the document management system is attached. As an e-discovery professional, my next thought is….how do we handle these links in discovery? At least one court has grappled with this question and its decision sheds new light on how we can handle hyperlinked attachments in our own cases.

  • Privacy
    Legal Updates

    E-Discovery Strategies For Handling Personal Identifying Information

    We’re all familiar with the importance of avoiding the inadvertent disclosure of attorney-client communications, work product or sensitive, proprietary or confidential business information. However, our obligations don’t end there. In addition to protecting this information, we also need to consider how to handle personal identifying information (“PII”). With extremely large amounts of data being at play in most litigation matters, it is becoming more and more important to have a solid game plan with safeguards and protections in place. Accidentally disclosing PII can lead to a chaotic discovery process and could lead to expensive monetary sanctions.

  • Maze
    Technology Advantage

    Pitfalls of Complex Search Protocols in ESI Agreements

    ESI Agreements cover the full gambit of e-discovery issues, from preservation expectations to production specifications. Sometimes, these agreements include an overview of the process by which the parties will identify the universe of potentially responsive documents by using specific date ranges, identifying priority custodians and developing proposed search terms. Adding another layer of complexity, this discussion is often had in a vacuum before the parties even know how much data their clients have. Coming up with criteria that identifies the relevant documents, but is not overly broad, in this vacuum can be difficult. However, the process is important because the date range, custodians and terms will inevitably dictate how much data is collected, processed and reviewed, which can significantly affect any litigation budget.