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 Reasonableness

37(e) Requires a Take-Charge Mentality to Preserve Data

Mathew Enter., Inc. v. Chrysler Grp. LLC
N.D. Cal. May 23, 2016
Why This Case Is Important

In today's dynamic corporate data environment, in-house legal teams must take a proactive mentality when preserving data or else risk the inadvertent spoliation of data due to IT/business related activities.

  • Court Opts for “a Middle Ground." The court granted the defendant's motion for spoliation but suggest an alternative from what the defendant proposed, including the option for the defendant to present evidence of spoliation to support its claim. The defendant was awarded reasonable legal fees in bringing this motion.
  • Prejudice is the Key Issue in Question. Under Rule 37(e), the court reasoned that the defendant was ultimately prejudiced by the plaintiff's spoliation based on the deleted emails, which could not be replaced, and which could have “shed some light" on key facts in dispute.
  • Wise Words from the Court on new Rule 37(e). “The rules governing parties' duties to preserve data do not demand perfection. Only when a party should have preserved electronically stored information 'in the anticipation or conduct of litigation' and when that party 'failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it' may a court order corrective measures. The standard is an attainable one."
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