If Evidence in its Original Form Is No Longer Available – But a Copy of that Evidence Is – Are Spoliation Sanctions Appropriate? In Barcroft Media, Ltd. et al. v. Coed Media Grp., LLC, No. 16-CV-7634 (JMF) (S.D.N.Y. Sept. 28, 2017), Plaintiffs – providers of entertainment-related photojournalism and owners of celebrity photographs – interposed various intellectual property claims against Defendant Coed Media Group, LLC (“CMG”).  View Full Post
Cooperation and Competence are Critical, Concludes One Court This case, which arises from allegations of pay discrimination by New Mexico State University (“NMSU”) based on gender, in violation of Title VII, serves as an important reminder that all counsel – irrespective of one’s computer know-how – understand their ESI obligations and cooperate in good faith with opposing counsel when engaging in the process of retrieving electronically stored information (“ESI”). View Full Post
Litigation Hold Notices Should Not Cloak the Recipient With Discretion Over What Documents to Preserve In past blogs, I have discussed the importance of issuing a litigation hold notice (“Hold”), as soon as a litigation is reasonably anticipated. I have also written about various best practices when drafting one’s Hold. [See Practical Tips For an Effective Litigation Hold Notice and Your Litigation Hold Must be Generally Broad And Specifically Tailored]. View Full Post
In this case, the Southern District of New York imposed an adverse inference against defendants for their failure to preserve text messages that were in the possession of a non-party.  Specifically, Judge Sweet imposed an adverse inference against defendants based upon the spoliation of non-party text messages after concluding that as a result of the non-party’s: close working relationship with the defendants; his prior production of documents in the litigation; and his financial interest in the at-issue film, defendants had the practical ability to obtain the text messages, irrespective of any legal right to those messages. View Full Post
Oops I Did It Again — Court Rules that Two Separate Productions of the Same Privileged Materials Was Completely Reckless Despite the existence of a stipulated clawback agreement (that was never presented to the Court to be So Ordered) that provided “[i]nadvertent production of privileged documents does not operate as a waiver of that privilege,” the Court found defendants’ claim to privilege was waived by the inadvertent and “completely reckless” production of privileged materials.   View Full Post
Because the Court Concluded Plaintiff’s Counsel Failed to Engage in Meaningful Meet and Confer, Court Orders Counsel (not the Plaintiff) to Bear the Costs of Production In this single-plaintiff employment discrimination case (Bailey v. Brookdale Univ. Hosp., 2017 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93093 (E.D.N.Y. June 16, 2017)), counsel for the parties purportedly met and conferred as directed by the Court and, thereafter, entered into an ESI agreement (“Agreement”).  View Full Post
Your Litigation Hold Must be Generally Broad And Specifically Tailored In Eshelman v. Puma Biotechnology, Inc., No. 7:16-CV-18-D (E.D.N.C. June 7, 2017), Magistrate Judge Robert B. Jones, Jr., denied Plaintiff Eshelman’s motion seeking a jury instruction in response to Puma Biotechnology Inc.’s (“Puma”) failure to preserve (or identify in its litigation hold notice the need to preserve) internet web browser and search histories.  View Full Post
The Seven Commandments of Proportionality in ESI* In In Re State Farm Lloyds, (Texas Supreme Court [May 26, 2017] 2017 WL 2323099), the Supreme Court of Texas elaborated on the standard applied to evaluate and resolve production disputes. Specifically, the Court opined (perhaps not surprisingly) that of “the guiding principles informing the exercise of discretion over electronic-discovery disputes, proportionality is the polestar.” Id. View Full Post