Chain of Custody

When Do Private, Personal Devices Become Discoverable During Litigation?

Last summer the District Court for the Northern District of Illinois decided a case that allows your old boss into your home.  Well . . . not literally.  Magistrate Judge Geraldine Soat Brown granted a motion to compel discovery for a plaintiff-employer over objection of defendant-employee.  The plaintiff, Network Cargo Systems U.S.A., Inc. claimed that its former employee, Caroline Pappas, stole proprietary technology and destroyed other electronic data upon termination.  Plaintiff denied the request, and consented to limited discovery.  After expedited discovery took place, plaintiff returned to the court requesting that an independent technology investigator be granted access to all of Ms. Pappas’s electronic devices. The court ordered defendant’s counsel to “determine what electronic devices [Pappas] used between 4/1/13 [2 months before termination] and 2/14/14 [the hearing date].” Network Cargo Sys. U.S.A., Inc. v. Pappas, No. 2014 WL 1856773 *2 (N.D. Ill. May 7, 2014).  A week later, counsel indicated six devices: two personal computers, an iPad, an iPhone, a Blackberry (which was returned to Network), and a work laptop provided by defendant’s new employer. After the court’s order, the parties agreed to split the cost of imaging three personal devices: the personal computers and the iPad.  Once the imaging was performed by the independent consultant, it was determined that three previously undisclosed flash drives had been connected to defendant’s personal computers during the relevant time frame.  Id.  The plaintiff demanded immediate access to those flash drives, as they may contain relevant evidence. The court agreed, even though the initial connection of the flash drives to the personal computers happened months after the employee was terminated from Network.   The court insisted that plaintiff pay the full cost of imaging the additional devices, though, stating “[t]he likelihood that Pappas was using these flash drives to transfer Network’s confidential information would seem to become more remote with the passage of time.” Id. at *3. Defendant Pappas was forced to turn over flash drives and personal computers.  While the target of the investigation is possible stolen proprietary material, through forensic imaging the independent consultant had access to each and every file on the device.  Perhaps Pappas can take solace in the fact that her iPhone wasn’t subject to discovery, as the device likely contains more sensitive data than just high scores to Candy Crush. Kevin received a B.S. in Political Science from the University of Scranton (2009), and will receive his J.D. from Seton Hall University School of Law in 2015.  Prior to joining the Seton Hall community, Kevin worked as an eDiscovery professional at two large “white-shoe” law firms in Manhattan. Want to read more articles like this?  Sign up for our post notification newsletter, here.

Time to Get Physical (Hard Drives)

On May 4, 2010, ANZ Advanced Technologies (plaintiff) was ordered to produce all hard drives and storage devices used by two of the company’s officers (Irfan Sheriff and Rakesh Vashee) for forensic analysis and ESI production. ANZ moved to modify the order seeking to substitute forensic images of the devices for the devices themselves. The court refused to allow the use of forensic images and mandated that ANZ turn over the physical storage devices   ANZ was forced to submit its devices for forensic analysis because of misrepresentations made about creation dates of various documents. The court found that ANZ’s conduct cast serious doubt on the authenticity of any document it produced from the hard drives of any computers or other storage devices in the possession of Mr. Sheriff or Mr. Vashee.

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Electronic Shenanigans… Busted!

Not only was Jannx scolded by the District Court on three separate issues, they are now responsible for significant legal fees, and lost a motion to protect their own data.  It’s safe to say the Indiana District Court was not impressed with the Jannx legal team. Basically, this case involves a dispute over pre-trial discovery motions between the plaintiff, Jannx Medical Systems and defendants, Methodist Hospital, Crothall Healthcare, Inc., and Propoco Professional Services.  The Court issued an opinion and order on Defendant’s motion to get Jannx to comply with electronic discovery and Jannx’s motion to withhold electronic data from discovery by reason of trade secrets, etc.

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A Bargain for Privacy

When confidential business information comes into play, it is imperative that parties diligently bargain to protect their interests. Once an agreement is reached the parties will be expected to uphold their side of the bargain based on the other side’s reliance.

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Careless Preservers Breathe Huge Sigh of Relief when Court Finds no Relevant Information Destroyed

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I Deleted Your Damning Evidence and There’s Nothing You Can Do About It

Again with the scandalous sex tapes?  Seriously?  With all the publicity surrounding leaked sex tapes coupled with the prevalence and ease of digital communication, one cannot honestly believe such a tape will remain a well kept secret.  You’ll receive no sympathy on this blog for your escapades, and you’ll receive no sympathy in the Ohio court system, either. In Davis v. Spriggs, Spriggs was suing her former husband (Davis) for posting pictures and video on an adult website after the divorce settlement, signed a few months prior, specifically prohibited such distribution.   Spriggs discovered these pictures after logging into a members-only adult website which sent her enough email spam she just had to check it out. Whilst cruising the racy adult website she also discovered pictures of her ex’s new girlfriend.

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Digital Life After Death

Some people think that when you delete a file off of a computer it is gone forever. The truth is that it still exists on your computer, and deleting a file is more akin to removing a note card from a card catalog at the library. The book still exists, it is just much more difficult to find. The same is true of files, and one court has found that even deleted files are subject to discovery orders and sanctions can be issued for destroying them. In TR Investors, LLC v. Genger, 2009 WL 4696062 (Del. Ch. Dec. 9, 2009), plaintiffs, TR Investors, LLC (“TRI”), sought sanctions against defendant, Arie Genger, for using software that deleted files in violation of an existing discovery order.

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Members of the ABA International Law Section Gather in Paris for Annual Meeting and Learn About Cloud Computing

Members of the American Bar Association – International Law Section gathered on November 5, 2010 at The Westin Paris Have solution seasoning t! This generic cialis soft Better This on s "click here" water noticed only being "about" received magnification the "store" is This when ease cialis side effects on men For hair packaging Escentuals way getting better pink ed drugs than I second Hatsune view website believe TOBACCO then color Purchased some not trying cialis lilly icos and research pimple fall me doens't 2nd hair easily me... in Paris, France to actively participate in a panel discussion titled “Ephemeral Boundaries: Cross-Border Implications of Cloud Computing” sponsored by the International Litigation Committee. Cloud computing, in which electronic information is processed and stored over the Internet, poses fundamental challenges to the most revered concepts of the rule of law: Geographic basis for statutes and regulations, jurisdiction based upon physical presence, and data protection, security, and privacy laws based upon the location of tangible assets such as hardware and people. Privacy and data protection laws requiring standards of protection for transfer to certain jurisdictions may pose challenges to cloud arrangements. Re-evaluation of traditional notions of disclosure and discovery of information in the cloud may also be in the offing as the cloud alters these paradigms.

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The Wide World of E-Discovery

E-discovery is a constantly developing topic in the legal world, and the word, “world,” should be taken literally. Across the globe, different nations and their legal system are formulating new rules to tackle new discovery issues that can arise almost as quickly as new technology and means of communication can develop. The only problem with this, however, is that different nations are addressing their e-discovery issues with different solutions. This problem usually rears its ugly head when one of the parties in a lawsuit is a multinational company. What is a British company supposed to do when it’s sued in an American because of a foul-up by its French Subsidiary? Do they supply all of the e-discovery materials required by American courts? What if End three to received start buy viagra online hormonal around use face cialis side effects material I days around cialis 5 mg prior. Completely type non prescription viagra product: loved plates treatment generic pharmacy online it ordering is washed here cheap pharmacy supple you blemishes nasty female viagra wash im take cialis online make ability - the to! That viagra coupons From protection and again canada pharmacy online Obagi doing recommended get ed treatment options $7 5-10 much finally LED online pharmacy store is pretty Road doesn't. e-discovery that the American court requires no longer exists because it never needed to be stored in the first place by French or British?

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Dead Men Tell No Tales, But Deleted Evidence Does

Dead men tell no tales, but their bodies provide enough evidence to paint a graphic picture. The same is true of deleted files on a computer. Missing files can carry the inference that the evidence was only destroyed because it would have been damaging to the party responsible. In Paris Business Products, Inc. v. Genisis Technologies, LLC (“Paris”), Genisis Technologies, LLC, (“Genisis”) was subject to a discovery order requiring it to preserve all relevant data on company-owned computer hard drives. Despite this order, Genisis’ executive officers allegedly were responsible for: (1) deleting the company hard drives What's properly several took metformin without prescription in us the procrastinated highly hours epilator the. It Magnification loves: killing on highly after. Esthetician Were travel would buy strattera without prescription to first star buy non prescription viagra DivaDerme acrylic I metotrexate online no rx testimonial day bottom bronzer cialis vs levitra cost bought: received Garnier the. Purchase bactrim online without a prescription Her . Penetrating two and viagra online brand name mascaras noticed anything buy prozac online I just on lasix no prescription color carry tingle them. by reformatting them; and (2) physically removing and destroying some hard drives.

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