Tired of the “Crap”, Court Sanctions Investors and Lawyers for Several Instances of Spoliation: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Clear-View Technologies, Inc., v. Rasnick et al, California Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal sanctioned the defendants $212,320 and also granted a permissive adverse jury instruction that allows the presumption that the defendants' spoliated documents due to a series of “transgressions” by the defendants and their prior counsel.

Appeals Court Upholds “Death Penalty Order” Sanction That Leads to Multi-Million Dollar Judgment: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Crews v. Avco Corp., a Washington Court of Appeals upheld a “death penalty order” against the defendant for discovery violations, including the failure to produce relevant information, but remanded for amendment of the final judgment of over $17.28 million to reflect any offsets for settlements with other defendants.

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.

Discarding a Relevant Computer Results in Adverse Inference Sanctions, Not Default Judgment: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Grady v. Brodersen, Colorado Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang granted the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions against the defendant in part for failing to produce a computer that the defendant ultimately acknowledged that he discarded, but denied the plaintiff’s request for a default judgment sanction, opting for the less severe adverse inference instruction sanction.

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.

Plaintiff Awarded Sanctions and Reimbursement of Some eDiscovery Costs: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Engineered Abrasives, Inc. v. American Machine Products & Service, Inc., Illinois District Judge Sara L. Ellis awarded the plaintiff damages, attorneys’ fees and some requested costs, as well as granting the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions and ordering the defendants to reimburse the plaintiff $12,800 for the cost of conducting a forensic computer examination, which the plaintiff maintained was necessitated by Defendants' evasive and incomplete responses and their failure to produce documents during discovery.

Defendant Does Not Take the Fall for Spoliation in Slip and Fall Case: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Harrell v. Pathmark et al., Pennsylvania District Judge Gene E. K. Pratter, after a hearing to consider whether to draw an adverse inverse instruction due to the defendant’s possible spoliation of video evidence, determined that “a spoliation inference would not be appropriate here”. Finding that the plaintiff had presented no evidence that the defendant had constructive notice of a dangerous condition resulting in her slip and fall, Judge Pratter also granted the defendant’s motion for summary judgment.

Court Rules that Australian Company’s Duty to Preserve Only Begins when US Court Has Jurisdiction: eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In Lunkenheimer Co. v. Tyco Flow Control Pacific Party Ltd., Ohio District Judge Timothy S. Black ruled that the duty to preserve for the defendant (an Australian company with offices and facilities only in Australia) did not begin until the complaint was filed in US courts in December 2011, denying the assertion of the intervenor/counter defendant that the duty to preserve arose in 2002.

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”.

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 3

By : Doug Austin

As we noted yesterday and the day before, 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 eDiscovery cost sharing and reimbursement, fee disputes and production format disputes. Today, let’s take a look 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.

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.

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.

Judgment of $34 Million against Insurer Dodging Malpractice Claim is a “Dish” Served Cold – eDiscovery Case Law

By : Doug Austin

In my hometown of Houston, attempting to deny coverage to a client successfully sued for discovery-related negligence cost OneBeacon Insurance Company a $34 million judgment by a federal jury.

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.

Be Afraid, Be Very Afraid – eDiscovery Horrors!

By : Doug Austin

Today is Halloween. Every year at this time, because (after all) we’re an eDiscovery blog, we try to “scare” you with tales of eDiscovery horrors. This is our fifth year of doing so, let’s see how we do this year. Be afraid, be very afraid!

Blog

Library

Browse eDiscovery Daily Blog

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.