Spoliation

  • Justice
    Legal Updates

    Court Orders Spoliation Sanctions Requiring Defendants and Former Defense Counsel To Pay Attorneys’ Fees and Costs

    In DR Distributors LLC v. 21 Century Smoking, Inc, v. CB Distributors, Inc. and Carlos Bengos, 2021 WL 185082, No. 12 CV 50324 (1/19/2021), Judge Johnston of the Northern District of Illinois, granted Plaintiff’s motion for sanctions against Defendants and their former counsel, requiring them to, among other things, pay what was expected to exceed a million dollars of attorneys’ fees and costs to Plaintiff. The Court imposed the sanctions based on its conclusion that Defendants and their former counsel: did not take reasonable steps to preserve ESI (electronically stored information); did not conduct a reasonable investigation of their ESI; did not timely disclose ESI under 26(g); and spoliated thousands of emails and chat messages. This ruling shows that we, as legal practitioners, need to be extremely congizant of our discovery obligations.

  • When Good Business Sense Doesn’t Make Good Legal Sense
    Legal Updates

    When Good Business Sense Doesn’t Make Good Legal Sense

    In my role as a Senior E-Discovery Attorney, I often provide guidance to organizations in how to develop and implement policies governing data retention and disposition. When developing those policies, it is critical to consider both the business and legal implications of preserving or deleting data and, ideally, find a balance between the two even when the concerns and priorities may not be the same. A recent case highlights what often proves to be a fundamental tension between the perspective of business stakeholders and legal stakeholders with respect to the preservation of ESI for pending or reasonably anticipated litigation in large corporations.

  • Purple Rain
    Legal Updates

    It’s Purple Raining Sanctions: Litigation Regarding Prince’s Estate Provides Framework for Determining When Sanctions Apply Under FRCP Rule 37(e)

    You may have read my colleague Starling Underwood’s post on two recent Second Circuit decisions discussing sanctions for spoliation. If you have not, I encourage you to read it here.  In this post, and continuing our music-themed sanction discussions, I narrow the focus to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure Rule 37(e), which is used to determine whether and what sanctions are appropriate when ESI spoliation occurs. A recent decision from the Minnesota District Court involving the estate of the artist Prince Rodgers Nelson (“Prince”), Paisley Park Enterprises, Inc. v. Boxill, provides a detailed review of the sanctions analysis under Rule 37(e), while dealing with a category of very common ESI data often at issue in litigation today –  mobile phone text messages.

  • Part One of ESI Basics: PSTs
    Technology Advantage

    Part One of ESI Basics: PSTs

    This is Part One of a continuing series on ESI basics. In this series, we will cover some of the terms used most often on the tech-side of e-discovery. Whether this is an introduction to you, or a refresher, and whether you are an attorney, member of an in-house team, or data analyst, we think this information may come in handy in your practice.

  • Text Messages:  Preservation Lessons for Mobile E-Discovery
    Legal Updates

    Text Messages: Preservation Lessons for Mobile E-Discovery

    There was a time when the only data you needed to collect in response to a discovery request was corporate email. Fast forward to present day. Employees are conducting business with smartphones, via social media and with the assistance of wearable technology. As a result, responding to e-discovery requests has become increasingly challenging.