eDiscovery Horrors! Does This Scare You?

By: Doug Austin

Today is Halloween.  While we could try to “scare” you with the traditional “frights”, we’re an eDiscovery blog, so it seems appropriate to try to “scare” you in a different way.  Does this scare you?

Although the court declined to re-open the case, it found that defendant had committed discovery abuses, including failing to disclose relevant evidence and failing to issue a litigation hold; therefore, the court ordered the defendant to pay plaintiff an additional $250,000 over the previously agreed settlement amount.  The court further ordered that defendant had thirty days to furnish a copy of the court’s Memorandum Opinion and Order “to every Plaintiff in every lawsuit it has had proceeding against it, or is currently proceeding against it, for the past two years” and issued an additional $500,000 sanction to be “extinguished” upon a showing of compliance.

What about this?

Even though many (but not all) of the documents were recovered (most from backup tape), the court rejected the defendant’s argument that “there can be no spoliation finding because many documents were recovered” and eventually produced, stating: "The fact that technology permits the undoing of spoliation does not change at all the fact that spoliation has occurred."

Or this?

Then, in January of this year, Judge Grimm entered an order awarding a total of $1,049,850.04 in “attorney’s fees and costs associated with all discovery that would not have been un[der]taken but for Defendants' spoliation, as well as the briefings and hearings regarding Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions.”

How about this?

The court concluded based on case history that “emails and text messages are documents and subject to the same requirements for authenticity as non-electronic documents generally” and found that the evidence that the defendant had authored these text messages was absent.

Scary, huh?  If the possibility of sanctions and changing court requirements keep you awake at night, then the folks at eDiscovery Daily will do our best to provide useful information and best practices to enable you to relax and sleep soundly, even on Halloween!

Of course, if you really want to get into the spirit of Halloween, click here.  This will really terrify you!

What do you think?  Is there a particular eDiscovery issue that scares you?  Please share your comments and let us know if you’d like more information on a particular topic.

Happy Halloween!

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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.

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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.

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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.

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