The Simplified
E-⁠Discovery Case Law Library
A collection of simple, easy to understand analyses and resources on e-⁠discovery case law.
Case shelved under Proportionality

$3M Spoliation Sanctions Still Exist Under New FRCP

GN Netcom, Inc. v. Plantronics, Inc.
D. Del July 12, 2016
Why this case is important

(1) Proves that courts under the right circumstances will go beyond remedies set forth in Rule 37(e). (2) Not taking proactive action to preserve key custodian data can get you in big trouble.

Overview

In this antitrust case, the plaintiffs engaged in their standard process for preserving information, which included issuing legal hold reminders, requiring custodians to acknowledge receipt of the hold and even held two training sessions on how to defensibly preserve. Withstanding those preservation safeguards, a key custodian, disregarded the legal hold notice and deleted over 40% of his emails. Beyond deleting responsive data to the case, this key custodian also instructed his colleagues to also delete relevant emails.

The defendant brought a motion for spoliation under Rule 37.

Ruling
  • Sanctions awarded even with preservation process in place
  • Plaintiffs didn't do enough to rectify the spoliation
  • Severe remedies
Download Case Law Analysis PDF

Download the PDF version of the GN Netcom, Inc. v. Plantronics, Inc. case law analysis here.

Legal Analysis
On GN Netcom, Inc. v. Plantronics, Inc.
Laura G. Readinger, Attorney at Law, Morris James
BY
Laura G. Readinger, Attorney at Law, Morris James

The amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure have shifted the focus away from the far-reaching requests for documents that are “reasonably calculated to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence” to ones focused on proportionality and reasonableness of both process and burden. They should be a good framework for judges and counsel to control the scope of discovery and to lower the associated costs and burden. Delaware state courts have not yet adopted these Rules, per se, but have long focused on these principles in the context of eDiscovery and have adopted eDiscovery Guidelines that espouse them.

Find more of Laura's legal analysis on the Delaware eDiscovery Report blog
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