eDiscovery Sanctions Go All the Way to the Top

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As a 30(b)(6) witness for some of my clients, I follow eDiscovery spoliation cases closely.  Most of them have little or no ‘teeth’ when a party has even attempted to meet their obligations. It is nice to see a magistrate drop the hammer on a party who appears to have consistently and deliberately tried to hide relevant ESI.  The cited order is worth a quick read.  Focus on the role played by the Defendant’s litigation support manager and his IT counterpart.  They deliberately excluded all of the company owners (the Goldmans) email and docs from searches.  Then the Goldmans played the ‘we trusted our employees’ card. The Court did not buy it and reaffirmed their duty to comply with court orders.  Company execs everywhere should take that to heart.  I know that eDiscovery related sanctions are rare.  Much rarer than inadvertent, systematic or deliberate eDiscovery malfeasance.  The low rate of sanctions does not negate the risk and consequences when caught.  Besides, some of us just insist on doing the right thing.

Written by Greg Buckles

Independent consultant focused on eDiscovery and IG solutions.

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