Denial of Motion for Spoliation Sanctions Leaves Plaintiff Less Than Glad: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Gladue v. Saint Francis Medical Center, Missouri District Judge Carol E. Jackson denied the plaintiff's motion for evidentiary and monetary sanctions due to spoliation of evidence, finding that the defendant did not have a duty to preserve emails deleted as part of routine IT operations, had diligently attempted to recover deleted emails and that the plaintiff failed to show that any of the unrecovered emails were relevant to her claims.

How Blue Was My Valley? Not Blue Enough to Cite the Defendant for Discovery Violations: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Malone v. Kantner Ingredients, Nebraska Magistrate Judge Cheryl R. Zwart denied the plaintiffs' motion to show cause, finding that the defendant “the plaintiffs have presented no evidence” that the defendant “destroyed, hid, or purposefully (or even recklessly) failed to produce responsive ESI” in the case.

Free Trojans with Your Document Production: eDiscovery Trends

By : Doug Austin

An Arkansas lawyer representing three Fort Smith police officers in a whistleblower case is seeking sanctions after his computer expert found malware on an external hard drive supplied in response to a discovery request, according to a story by the Northwest Arkansas Democrat Gazette.

Court Rules on Dispute about Search Terms and Organization of Produced Documents: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Lutzeier v. Citigroup Inc., Missouri District Judge Ronnie I. White ruled on two motions to compel discovery by the plaintiff, addressing (among other things) disagreement on search terms to be used by the defendant and lack of organization and labeling of the defendant’s production to date.

You Don’t Get a Second Chance to Make a First Document Production Request: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Allison v. Clos-ette Too, LLC, New York Magistrate Judge James C. Francis, among other motions considered, denied the plaintiff’s motion to compel the defendants’ production of electronically stored information (ESI) in native format after the plaintiff had previously requested (and received) ESI from the defendants without specifying the desired document format.

Court Awards Attorney Fees to Defendant After Delayed Production by Plaintiff: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Michigan Millers Mutual Insurance Co. v. Westport Insurance Corp., Michigan Magistrate Judge Phillip J. Green awarded some (but not all) of the attorney fees requested by the defendant after the plaintiff “made repeated promises to produce the subject documents”, but “failed to do so for nearly three months after the deadline for responding to Westport's Rule 34 request” and “compliance was obtained only after Westport filed its motion to compel”.

Plaintiffs Not Sanctioned for Late Production, Citing Their $29,000 Expense to Hire Experts to Assist: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Federico et al. v. Lincoln Military Housing LLC, et al., Virginia Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Miller, concluding that the defendants had not established that the plaintiffs had acted in bad faith when failing to meet production deadlines, declined to impose “any further sanction against Plaintiffs beyond the $29,000 expense associated with their expert's production of the Facebook records”, except for a portion of the reasonable attorney's fees associated with the original motion to compel.

Plaintiff Sanctioned for Late Production, But Not for Failure to Produce Data Held by Outside Vendor: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Ablan v. Bank of America, Illinois Magistrate Judge Daniel G. Martin recommended that the defendant’s Motion for Sanctions should be granted in part and denied in part, recommending that the plaintiffs be barred from using any new information at summary judgment or at trial that was contained on eight CD-ROMs produced late, but recommending no sanctions for failing to produce or make available documents held by the plaintiff’s outside vendor.

Payday Loan Company Sanctioned for Discovery Violations: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In James v. National Financial LLC, Delaware Vice Chancellor Laster granted the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions after determining that the defendant’s “discovery misconduct calls for serious measures”. However, the plaintiff’s request for a default judgment was not granted, but lesser sanctions that included attorneys’ fees and a ruling that the lack of information contained in the requested document resulted in an admission.

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 2

By : Doug Austin

As we noted yesterday, 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 admissibility and proportionality as well as cases involving discovery on discovery. Today, let’s take a look back at cases related to eDiscovery cost sharing and reimbursement, fee disputes and production format disputes.

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!

Court’s “New and Simpler Approach to Discovery” Identifies Search Terms for Plaintiff to Use – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Armstrong Pump, Inc. v. Hartman, New York Magistrate Judge Hugh B. Scott granted in part the defendant’s motion to compel discovery responses and fashioned a “new and simpler approach” to discovery, identifying thirteen search terms/phrases for the plaintiff to use when searching its document collection.

Plaintiff Ordered to Make its Production Conform to Rule 34 – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Venture Corp. Ltd. v. Barrett, California Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal ordered the plaintiffs to “(1) either organize and label each document it has produced or it shall provide custodial and other organizational information along the lines outlined above and (2) produce load files for its production containing searchable text and metadata” in order to conform to Rule 34 of the Federal Rules of Procedure and meet their obligation.

Court Determines that Software License Agreement Does Not Eliminate Production Obligation of Video – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Pero v. Norfolk Southern Railway, Co., Tennessee Magistrate Judge C. Clifford Shirley, Jr. granted the plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery of a video declining to require the plaintiff to view the video at the defendant’s counsel’s office or obtain a license for the proprietary viewing software, ordering the defendant instead to either produce a laptop with the video loaded on it or to reimburse the plaintiff for the cost of a software license.

Court Agrees with Defendants that Producing Medical Records in Native Form is an “Undue Burden” – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Peterson v. Matlock, New Jersey Magistrate Judge Douglas E. Arpert denied the plaintiffs motion to compel defendants to produce the plaintiff's electronically stored medical records in “native readable format” after the defendants produced the records in PDF format, agreeing that the defendants had demonstrated that they would suffer an undue burden in complying with the plaintiff's request.

Court Allows Costs for TIFF Conversion and OCR, Likens it to “Making Copies” – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Kuznyetsov v. West Penn Allegheny Health Sys., Pennsylvania Senior District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose upheld the Clerk of Courts issuance of Taxation of Costs for $60,890.97 in favor of the defendants and against the named the plaintiffs, including costs for “scanning and conversion of native files to the agreed-upon format for production of ESI”.

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.

Defendant Ordered to Produce Archived Emails Even Though Plaintiff Failed to Produce Theirs – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Finjan, Inc. v. Blue Coat Systems., California Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal granted the plaintiff’s motion ordering the defendant to produce relevant emails from its eight custodians, even though the plaintiff was unable to provide its own archival emails.

The Importance of Metadata – eDiscovery Best Practices

By : Doug Austin

If an electronic document is a “house” for information, then metadata could be considered the “deed” to that house. There is far more to explaining a house than simply the number of stories and the color of trim. It is the data that isn’t apparent to the naked eye that tells the rest of the story. For a house, the deed lines out the name of the buyer, the financier, and the closing date among heaps of other information that form the basis of the property. For an electronic document, it’s not just the content or formatting that holds the key to understanding it. Metadata, which is data about the document, contains information such as the user who created it, creation date, the edit history, and file type. Metadata often tells the rest of the story about the document and, therefore, is often a key focus of eDiscovery.



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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