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.
In this clash between and automobile reseller (plaintiff) and an automobile supplier (defendant), sanctions were motioned for against the plaintiff for making “no effort to preserve communications from customers or internal emails." Both parties stipulated that the preservation duty arose nearly a year after the plaintiff sent a letter threatening litigation to the defendant. During this year-long period, the plaintiff did not take any action to preserve responsive emails, including allowing an outside vendor to delete responsive emails “without complaint," as well as deleting all email communications after changing email system providers. Consequently, the defendant sought spoliation sanctions under Rule 37(e) against defendant.
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Download the PDF version of the Mathew Enter., Inc. v. Chrysler Grp. LLC case law analysis here.
This is a good example of a party who clearly didn't take anything approaching reasonable steps under Rule 37e, but it's also an example of a judge crafting a remedy that did a great job fitting exactly within the intent of 37e, so it is a really instructive case.