The First 7 to 10 Days May Make or Break Your Case: eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

When a case is filed, several activities must be completed within a short period of time (often as soon as the first seven to ten days after filing) to enable you to assess the scope of the case, where the key electronically stored information (ESI) is located and whether to proceed with the case or attempt to settle with opposing counsel. Here are several of the key early activities that can assist in deciding whether to litigate or settle the case.

Expanded Sources of ESI May Leave You “Fit” to be Tied – eDiscovery Trends

By : Doug Austin

One of the items that I bought my wife for Christmas (which she really wanted) was an UP 24™ Fitness Tracker, which is a wristband that tracks a variety of fitness metrics, including steps taken, workouts logged and calories burned (not to mention sleep cycles) and enables you to share and compare your stats with your friends via an app on your mobile device. Another example of a similar device is a Fitbit®. Based on a recent case, these devices are just another example of new devices from which relevant ESI may be collected for discovery.

2014 eDiscovery Case Law Year in Review, Part 4

By : Doug Austin

As we noted yesterday, Wednesday and Tuesday, eDiscoveryDaily published 93 posts related to eDiscovery case decisions and activities over the past year, covering 68 unique cases! Yesterday, we looked back at cases related to privilege and inadvertent disclosures, requests for social media, cases involving technology assisted review and the case of the year – the ubiquitous Apple v. Samsung dispute. Today, let’s take a look back at cases related to sanctions and spoliation.

2014 eDiscovery Case Law Year in Review, Part 1

By : Doug Austin

It’s time for our annual review of eDiscovery case law! We had more than our share of sanctions granted and denied, as well as disputes over admissibility of electronically stored information (ESI), eDiscovery cost reimbursement, and production formats, even disputes regarding eDiscovery fees. So, as we did last year and the year before that and also the year before that, let’s take a look back at 2014!

Image Isn’t Everything, Court Says, Denying Plaintiff’s Request for Imaging on Defendant’s Hard Drives – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Design Basics, LLC. v. Carhart Lumber Co., Nebraska Magistrate Judge Cheryl R. Zwart, after an extensive hearing on the plaintiff's motion to compel “full disk imaging of Defendant's hard drives, including Defendant's POS server, secretaries' computers, UBS devices. . .”, denied the motion after invoking the mandatory balancing test provided in FRCP Rule 26(b)(2)(C).

Finding Defendant’s Destruction of Documents to be “Planned, Repeated and Comprehensive”, Court Awards Judgment to Plaintiff – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Regulatory Fundamentals Group v. Governance Risk Management Compliance, New York District Judge Katherine B. Forrest granted the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions and ordered that judgment be entered for the defendant’s “planned, repeated, and comprehensive” destruction of highly-relevant documents.

Twitter Might “Bug” You if You Want to Retrieve Archive Data – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

Thanks to the Google Alerts that I set up to send me new stories related to eDiscovery, I found an interesting blog post from an attorney that appears to shed light on an archival bug within Twitter that could affect people who may want to retrieve Twitter archival data for eDiscovery purposes.

The Watergate 18 Minute Gap in Audio Recordings Has Nothing on This Case – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Novick v. AXA Network, LLC, New York Magistrate Judge Kevin Nathaniel Fox granted the plaintiff’s request for sanctions against the defendant, awarding an adverse inference jury instruction for several weeks of spoliated audio recordings and also awarding “reasonable attorney's fees and costs” associated with the motion as well as retaking several depositions.

Simply Deleting a File Doesn’t Mean It’s Gone – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

When a file is “deleted” (i.e., actually deleted, not just moved to the Recycle Bin), the data for that file isn’t actually removed from the disk (in most cases). So, where does it go? Let's find out.

Dealing with the Departed – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

When litigation hits, key activities to get a jump on the case include creating a list of key employees most likely to have documents relevant to the litigation and interviewing those key employees, as well as key department representatives, such as IT for information about retention and destruction policies. These steps are especially important as they may shed light on custodians you might not think about – the departed.

Plaintiff Slips, But Defendant Takes the Fall – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Riley v. Marriott Int’l, New York Magistrate Judge Marian W. Payson agreed with the plaintiffs that spoliation of data had occurred when the defendant failed to preserve video surveillance and “sweep logs” after one of the plaintiffs slipped and fell in the defendant’s hotel garage and that the defendant was at least grossly negligent for not preserving the information. However, the judge denied the plaintiffs request for summary judgment, granting an adverse inference instruction instead.

Failure to Preserve Data on Various Devices Causes Special Master to Recommend Default Judgment – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Small v. University Medical Center of Southern Nevada, Special Master Daniel B. Garrie, calling the defendant’s widespread failure to preserve data a “mockery of the orderly administration of justice”, recommended that the court enter an order of default judgment, along with further sanctions, in favor of the plaintiffs.

How Mature is Your Organization in Handling eDiscovery? – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

A new self-assessment resource from EDRM helps you answer that question. A few days ago, EDRM announced the release of the EDRM eDiscovery Maturity Self-Assessment Test (eMSAT-1), the “first self-assessment resource to help organizations measure their eDiscovery maturity”. Find out more about it here.

Court Grants Motion for Spoliation Sanctions Due to Data that is “Less Accessible” – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Mazzei v. Money Store, New York Magistrate Judge Ronald L. Ellis granted the plaintiff’s motion for spoliation sanctions against the defendant, ordering the defendant to bear the cost of obtaining all the relevant data in question from a third party as well as paying for plaintiff attorney fees in filing the motion.

Our 1,000th Post! – eDiscovery Milestones

By : Doug Austin

When we launched nearly four years ago on September 20, 2010, our goal was to be a daily resource for eDiscovery news and analysis. Now, after doing so each business day, I’m happy to announce that today is our 1,000th post on eDiscovery Daily! Check out what we've covered over 1,000 posts!

Circuit Court Affirms Denial of Sanctions Over Spoliation by Defendant – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Automated Solutions Corp. v. Paragon Data Sys., Inc., the Sixth Circuit court affirmed the holdings of the district court, rejecting the plaintiff’s arguments that the district court abused its discretion by denying plaintiff’s motion for spoliation sanctions due to defendant’s failure to preserve information on a hard drive and server. The circuit court also affirmed the ruling by both the magistrate and district judge that the defendant’s back-up tapes were not subject to the duty to preserve.

Privilege Not Waived on Defendant’s Seized Computer that was Purchased by Plaintiff at Auction – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Kyko Global Inc. v. Prithvi Info. Solutions Ltd., Washington Chief District Judge Marsha J. Pechman ruled that the defendants’ did not waive their attorney-client privilege on the computer of one of the defendants purchased by plaintiffs at public auction, denied the defendants’ motion to disqualify the plaintiff’s counsel for purchasing the computer and ordered the plaintiffs to provide defendants with a copy of the hard drive within three days for the defendants to review it for privilege and provide defendants with a privilege log within seven days of the transfer.

Texas Supreme Court Reverses Spoliation Ruling, Remands Case for New Trial – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Brookshire Bros., Ltd. v. Aldridge, the Supreme Court of Texas determined “that imposition of the severe sanction of a spoliation instruction was an abuse of discretion” in the trial court, reversed the court of appeals' judgment and remanded the case for a new trial.

Failure to Preserve Cloud-Based Data Results in Severe Sanction for Defendant – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Brown v. Tellermate Holdings, Magistrate Judge Terence Kemp granted plaintiffs’ motion for judgment and motion to strike, ruling that the defendant could not “present or rely upon evidence that it terminated the Browns' employment for performance-related reasons” and enabling the plaintiffs to use documents produced by the defendant “designated as attorneys'-eyes-only” to be used by the plaintiffs “without restriction”, due to the defendant’s failure to preserve or produce data from their Salesforce.com database.

Court Denies Sanctions for Deletion of “Smoking Gun” Email, Grants Defendants’ Motion for Summary Judgment – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In the case In re Text Messaging Antitrust Litig., Illinois District Judge Matthew F. Kennelly not only denied the plaintiffs’ request for an adverse inference sanction against the defendants for destroying emails, but also granted the defendants’ motion for summary judgment, as the plaintiffs failed to provide any supporting circumstantial evidence to meet their burden of proof.

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About the Bloggers

Brad Jenkins

Brad Jenkins, President and CEO of CloudNine Discovery, has over 20 years of experience leading customer focused companies in the litigation support arena. Brad has authored many articles on litigation support issues, and has spoken before national audiences on document management practices and solutions.

Doug Austin

Doug Austin, Professional Services Manager for CloudNine Discovery, has over 20 years experience providing legal technology consulting and technical project management services to numerous commercial and government clients. Doug has also authored several articles on eDiscovery best practices.

Jane Gennarelli

Jane Gennarelli is a principal of Magellan’s Law Corporation and has been assisting litigators in effectively handling discovery materials for over 30 years. She authored the company’s Best Practices in a Box™ content product and assists firms in applying technology to document handling tasks. She is a known expert and often does webinars and presentations for litigation support professionals around the country. Jane can be reached by email at jane@litigationbestpractices.com.