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