Owners/Executives

No Sanctions for Spoliation?

For all of you bosses, managers, or CEOs out there: Are you thinking about firing that one employee? You know, the one that is always late, slacks on his work, and makes mistake after mistake? You may think that cutting him loose means he is out of your life forever. Well, guess again.

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Defective Diapers and Improper Preservation Lead to Litigation Mess

No company can escape the rigorous rules of eDiscovery, even those that may exist as one-person entities. As soon as the possibility of litigation becomes likely, companies must take the necessary steps to preserve all relevant documents or risk suffering the consequences in court.

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Want to Claim the Producing Party is Tardy? First, Agree on Protocol for Production of ESI.

The producing party in a discovery request can be tardy producing documents, while making numerous generalized objections in a response, and still not have waived the party’s right to valid objections under Fed. R. Civ. P. 26 or Fed. R. Civ. P. 34.

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New York Court Adopts Federal Standard Regarding Initial Costs of ESI

In February 2012, the New York State Supreme Court, Appellate Division, First Department, held that the cost of finding of producing electronically stored information (ESI) is placed initially on the party producing the discovery request.  While this decision is consistent with New York’s longstanding rule that discovery requests are to be paid by the responding party, discovery in the context of ESI brings an added complication.

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Intra-Office E-mails: What Used To Be Unreported Office Gossip Now Potentially Exposes Companies to Liability

Serious problems can arise when what used to be office gossip around the water cooler instead manifests in discoverable intra office e-mails.

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Is It Safe to Delete Your Groupon E-mails?

Often, when entering one’s e-mail account, a person will encounter a plethora of advertisements, chain e-mails, spam, and other irrelevant junk mail. Pursuant to their daily habit, one sifts through their mailbox in an effort to delete any hourly Groupon deals or invitations to join new dating websites, in order to find the e-mails important to their career, education, etc. However, when does a routine deletion of spam constitute a legal violation? For the average lay worker, without clear advice of legal counsel, it is difficult to discern which deletions will come back to bite you in the end during litigation.  In a 2010 case, a discrimination lawsuit exposed how a seemingly harmless deletion to clean an inbox could have resulted in a legal sanction.

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When is it Okay to Press the Delete Button?

  Am I allowed to delete this? Do I have to preserve this email? When a former employee sues you for employment discrimination and requests documents that you irretrievably destroyed, are you going to be sanctioned? Unless litigation was imminent or reasonably foreseeable you are off the hook. Luckily the defendant in Viramontes v. U.S. Bancorp had no obligation to preserve.    

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Playing Hide-and-Seek: Failure to Preserve Footage and Non-Disclosure of Facebook Information May Lead to Adverse Inferences for Both Parties

The District Court judge ruled that an adverse inference was warranted for allegations of discovery abuse pertaining to messages sent on Facebook. In Patel v. Havana Bar, Judge Goldberg ordered both Plaintiff Patel and Defendant Havana Bar to incur sanctions for spoliation for the former’s failure to produce statements given in response to a Facebook message about the Plaintiff’s case and for the latter’s failure to preserve video footage of the incident in question.

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Court Orders Sanctions Against The U.S. Attorney’s Office in New Jersey for Failing to Preserve Text Messages From an FBI Investigation

In United States v. Suarez, the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey held that the government violated its duty to preserve relevant data during an ongoing investigation aimed at prosecution of certain individuals.

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EXCLUSIVE: eLessons Learned’s Exclusive Interview with the Honorable Ronald J. Hedges.

Interviewed by Catherine Kiernan, Co-Editor in Chief, eLLblog.com Thank you, Judge Hedges, for taking the time to provide eLLblog’s readers with some of your valuable insights about electronic discovery.

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