Exterro's Legal GRC Breakdown

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Case Law Alert: Failure to Suspend Retention Policy Leads to Severe Sanctions

Created on November 18, 2022

Vice President, E-Discovery

With the vast amounts of data organizations store and collect, it can become difficult to know when to suspend document retention policies and preserve the data those policies govern for litigation (or other reasons). In Meta Platforms, Inc. v. BrandTotal Ltd. (N.D. Cal. June 6, 2022), the defendant’s failure to suspend their retention policies lead to spoliation and sanctions. Overview In this data privacy case around illegally collecting digital data, the plaintiff sought an adverse inference sanction against the defendant for deleting information relevant to the case. During the discovery process... Read More

Case Law Alert: Mysterious Text Messages Leads to Broader E-Discovery Parameters

Created on November 4, 2022

Vice President, E-Discovery

E-Discovery is an iterative process. In Advanced Magnesium Alloys Corp. v. Dery (S.D. Ind. Aug. 5, 2022), the court re-affirmed that notion, ruling that search terms should evolve as the parties learn more about their case, including local jargon used in communications between custodians privy to the lawsuit. Overview In this case about two businesses illegally conspiring to secure a third-party investment, the plaintiff requested that one of the defendants produce all text messages between two executives during a one-month period to provide context around already produced text messages. During e-discovery... Read More

Case Law Alert: Defendants Persuade Court to Narrow E-Discovery Parameters with Metrics

Created on October 21, 2022

Vice President, E-Discovery

Jim Hawk Truck-Trails of Sioux Falls, Inc. v. Crossroads Trailer Sales & Service, Inc., (D.S.D. July 29, 2022) showcases how a party can persuade the court to narrow e-discovery parameters if that party presents metrics proving an undue burden. Overview: In this tort and contract case, a dispute between the parties arose over disagreements around e-discovery activities. Before the motion, the defendants had already: Searched 13 custodiansProduced documents relating to 92 out of the 99 search terms requested by the plaintiff The defendants disputed the need to produce documents relating to the... Read More

Case Law Alert: iPad, iPhone, Gmail Spoliation Leads to Terminating Sanctions

Created on October 7, 2022

Vice President, E-Discovery

Oftentimes it’s easy forget how easily you can delete data from your cell phone or computer. In the world of e-discovery, there are severe consequences for deleting relevant evidence on these devices, as Atalian U.S. New England, LLC v. Navarro shows. Overview In this fraud case, the magistrate judge recommended that the court enter a default judgment against the defendant for withholding, and allegedly intentionally deleting, information from the defendants’ iPad, iPhone, and Gmail accounts. The magistrate judge came to this recommendation based on the following facts: Defendants received multiple preservation requests.Defendants admit... Read More

Case Law Alert: Boilerplate Objections Are Insufficient—But Not Enough to Be Waived

Created on September 23, 2022

Vice President, E-Discovery

It’s long been established that boilerplate objections to discovery requests will not be allowed, but in this case Doma Title Insurance v. Avance Title, LLC the court permitted the defendants to supplement their objections rather than considering them waived. Overview In this case concerning allegations that a contractor to an insurance company failed to comply with all the contractual obligations it owed to its client (the plaintiff), a disagreement arose over the materials the defendant would have to produce during discovery. In discovery, the plaintiff requested from defendant all documents and communications... Read More

Case Law Alert: Lackadaisical Diligence During Discovery Results in Adverse Inference Ruling

Created on September 9, 2022

Vice President, E-Discovery

Courts will no longer accept lackadaisical behavior when it comes to e-discovery activities. For examples, in this case, the defendant’s misrepresentations and mishandling of the plaintiff’s discovery request resulted in severe discovery sanctions. Overview In this wrongful termination case, the court ordered that findings of fact be read to the jury to make inferences on, after Defendant’s spoliation of video recordings resulted in the lack of key evidence. After various employees provided different testimonies regarding an alleged altercation, the plaintiff requested that the defendant view video recordings to undo the plaintiff's... Read More

Case Law Alert: Discovery Negligence Can Result in Both Punitive and Compensatory Damages

Created on August 26, 2022

Vice President, E-Discovery

While the failure to preserve relevant ESI is not in its own right grounds for sanctions, the court requires that parties to a case make good faith efforts to fulfill their obligations. Even though a party’s behavior may not demonstrate “intent to deprive,” negligence during the discovery process may lead to compensatory sanctions—in ORP Surgical, LLP v. Howmedica Osteonics Corp., requiring the defendant to pay for the plaintiff’s portion of the special master’s bill. Overview In this highly contentious case about the termination of a business relationship between a medical implant... Read More