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Doug Austin

eDiscovery Best Practices: Checking for Malware is the First Step to eDiscovery Processing

 

A little over a month ago, I noted that we hadn’t missed a (business) day yet in publishing a post for the blog.  That streak almost came to an end last week.

As I often do in the early mornings before getting ready for work, I spent some time searching for articles to read and identifying potential blog topics and found a link on a site related to “New Federal Rules”.  Curious, I clicked on it and…up popped a pop-up window from our virus checking software (AVG Anti-Virus, or so I thought) that the site had found a file containing a “trojan horse” program.

The odd thing about the pop-up window is that there was no “Fix” button to fix the trojan horse.  There were only choices to “Ignore” the virus or “Move it to the Vault”.  So, I chose the best available option to move it to the vault.

Then, all hell broke loose.

I received error messages that my hard drive had corrupted, that my RAM was maxed – you name it.

Turns out the trojan horse has provided a “rogue” pop-up window, designed to look like AVG Anti-Virus, to dupe me into activating the program by clicking on a button.  If you studied the Trojan War in school, you know that’s why they call it a “trojan horse” – it fools you into letting it into your system.

While its common to refer to all types of malware as “viruses”, a computer virus is only one type of malware.  Malware includes computer viruses, worms, trojan horses, spyware, dishonest adware, scareware, crimeware, most rootkits, and other malicious and unwanted software or program.  A report from Symantec published in 2008 suggested that "the release rate of malicious code and other unwanted programs may be exceeding that of legitimate software applications”.

I’ve worked with a lot of clients who don’t understand why it can take time to get ESI processed and loaded into their review platform.  Depending on the types of files, several steps can be required to get the files ready to review, including “unarchiving” of container files, OCR (of image only files) and, of course, indexing of the files for searchability (among other possible steps).  But, the first step is to scan the files for viruses and other malware that may be infecting the files.  If malware is found in any files, the files have to be identified.  Then, those files will either be isolated and logged as exceptions or the virus software will attempt to remove the malware.  While it may seem logical that the malware should always be removed, doing so is technically altering the file, so counsel need to agree that malware removal is acceptable.  Either way, the malware needs to be addressed so that it doesn’t affect the entire collection.

As for me, as soon as the infection was evident, I turned my laptop off and turned it over to our support department at Trial Solutions.  By the end of the day, I had it back, good as new!  Thanks, Tony Cullather!

So, what do you think?  How do you handle malware in your collections?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Best Practices: 4 Steps to Effective eDiscovery With Software Analytics

 

I read an interesting article from Texas Lawyer via Law.com entitled “4 Steps to Effective E-Discovery With Software Analytics” that has some interesting takes on project management principles related to eDiscovery and I’ve interjected some of my thoughts into the analysis below.  A copy of the full article is located here.  The steps are as follows:

1. With the vendor, negotiate clear terms that serve the project's key objectives.  The article notes the important of tying each collection and review milestone (e.g., collecting and imaging data; filtering data by file type; removing duplicates; processing data for review in a specific review platform; processing data to allow for optical character recognition (OCR) searching; and converting data into a tag image file format (TIFF) for final production to opposing counsel) to contract terms with the vendor. 

The specific milestones will vary – for example, conversion to TIFF may not be necessary if the parties agree to a native production – so it’s important to know the size and complexity of the project, and choose only an experienced eDiscovery vendor who can handle the variations.

2. Collect and process data.  Forensically sound data collection and culling of obviously unresponsive files (such as system files) to drastically decrease the overall review costs are key services that a vendor provides in this area.  As we’ve noted many times on this blog, effective culling can save considerable review costs – each gigabyte (GB) culled can save $16-$18K in attorney review costs.

The article notes that a hidden cost is the OCR process of translating extracted text into a searchable form and that it’s an optimal negotiation point with the vendor.  This may have been true when most collections were paper based, but as most collections today are electronic based, the percentage of documents requiring OCR is considerably less than it used to be.  However, it is important to be prepared that there are some native files which will be “image only”, such as TIFFs and scanned PDFs – those will require OCR to be effectively searched.

3. Select a data and document review platform.  Factors such as ease of use, robustness, and reliability of analytic tools, support staff accessibility to fix software bugs quickly, monthly user and hosting fees, and software training and support fees should be considered when selecting a document review platform.

The article notes that a hidden cost is selecting a platform with which the firm’s litigation support staff has no experience as follow-up consultation with the vendor could be costly.  This can be true, though a good vendor training program and an intuitive interface can minimize or even eliminate this component.

The article also notes that to take advantage of the vendor’s more modern technology “[a] viable option is to use a vendor's review platform that fits the needs of the current data set and then transfer the data to the in-house system”.  I’m not sure why the need exists to transfer the data back – there are a number of vendors that provide a cost-effective solution appropriate for the duration of the case.

4. Designate clear areas of responsibility.  By doing so, you minimize or eliminate inefficiencies in the project and the article mentions the RACI matrix to determine who is responsible (individuals responsible for performing each task, such as review or litigation support), accountable (the attorney in charge of discovery), consulted (the lead attorney on the case), and informed (the client).

Managing these areas of responsibility effectively is probably the biggest key to project success and the article does a nice job of providing a handy reference model (the RACI matrix) for defining responsibility within the project.

So, what do you think?  Do you have any specific thoughts about this article?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Trends: Apple Responds to the iPhone/iPad Location Controversy

 

Yesterday, we talked about the latest litigation for Apple, which was sued for alleged privacy invasion and computer fraud by two customers in a federal complaint in Tampa, Florida who claim the company is secretly recording and storing the location and movement of iPhone and iPad users.  Yesterday, Apple issued a press release response to questions regarding this controversy, published here on Business Wire.

Highlights:

  • Apple reiterated that they are “not tracking the location of your iPhone. Apple has never done so and has no plans to ever do so.”
  • Instead, according to Apple, the iPhone is “maintaining a database of Wi-Fi hotspots and cell towers around your current location, some of which may be located more than one hundred miles away from your iPhone, to help your iPhone rapidly and accurately calculate its location when requested.”
  • Apple says that the “database is too big to store on an iPhone, so [they] download an appropriate subset (cache) onto each iPhone. This cache is protected but not encrypted, and is backed up in iTunes whenever you back up your iPhone.”
  • Geo-tagged Wi-Fi hotspot and cell tower data is sent to Apple in an anonymous and encrypted form” and “ Apple cannot identify the source of this data.”
  • The reason the iPhone stores up to a year’s worth of location data is “a bug we uncovered and plan to fix shortly”.  “We don’t think the iPhone needs to store more than seven days of this data.”
  • The iPhone sometimes shouldn’t continue updating its Wi-Fi and cell tower data when Location Services is turned off.  “This is a bug, which we plan to fix shortly”.
  • Apple also noted that they will release a free iOS software update “sometime in the next few weeks” that: “reduces the size” of the database cached on the iPhone, “ceases backing up the cache”, and “deletes this cache entirely when Location Services is turned off”.

We’ll see how this press release impacts the litigation and various regulatory investigations.

So, what do you think?  Have you been involved in a case where GPS location data was relevant?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Trends: It’s 10 PM, Does Apple Know Where You Are?

 

Over 30 years ago, local TV stations across the country ran this ad, asking the question “It’s 10 PM, do you know where you children are?”

Today, they could ask the question of many iPhone and iPad users, “It’s 10 PM, does Apple know where you are?”

According to Bloomberg on Monday, “Apple Inc. (AAPL) was sued for alleged privacy invasion and computer fraud by two customers who claim the company is secretly recording and storing the location and movement of iPhone and iPad users, according to a federal complaint filed…in Tampa, Florida.”

Vikram Ajjampur, an iPhone user in Florida, and William Devito, a New York iPad customer, sued April 22 in federal court in Tampa, Florida, seeking a judge’s order barring the alleged data collection and requesting refunds for their phones.

The lawsuit references a report from two computer programmers who indicated that “those of us who own either an iPhone or iPad may have been subjected to privacy invasion since the introduction of iOS 4.0” (operating system).  The report claims that Apple’s iOS4 operating system is logging latitude-longitude coordinates along with the time a spot is visited, is collecting about a year’s worth of location data, and logs location data to a file called "consolidated.db", which is unencrypted and unprotected.

“We take issue specifically with the notion that Apple is now basically tracking people everywhere they go,” Aaron Mayer, an attorney for the plaintiffs, said. “If you are a federal marshal, you have to have a warrant to do this kind of thing, and Apple is doing it without one.”

In addition to the Florida lawsuit, the Illinois Attorney General has asked to meet with Apple executives to discuss these reports and French, German, Italian and South Korean regulators are also investigating the alleged location collection feature as a result of the programmers’ report.

So far, Apple has not commented – officially.  However, MacRumors reports that Steve Jobs has responded to one emailer who requested “Maybe you could shed some light on this for me before I switch to a Droid. They don't track me.”  To which Jobs allegedly responded, “Oh yes they do. We don't track anyone. The info circulating around is false.  Sent from my iPhone.”

True or False?  We’ll hopefully see.  It seems that every week there is a new type of data that can be relevant to the eDiscovery process, doesn’t it?

So, what do you think?  Have you been involved in a case where GPS location data was relevant?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Trends: Thought Leader Interview with Jeffrey Brandt, Editor of Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

 

As eDiscovery Daily has done in the past, we have periodically interviewed various thought leaders in eDiscovery and legal technology to provide insight as to trends in the industry for our readers to consider.  Recently, I was able to interview Jeffrey Brandt, Editor of the Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest and columnist for Legal IT Professionals.

With an educational background in computer science and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, Jeff has over twenty four years of experience in the field of legal automation working with various organizations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  As a technology and management consultant to hundreds of law firms and corporate law departments he has worked on information management projects including: long range strategic planning, workflow management and reengineering, knowledge management, IT structure and personnel requirements and budgeting. Working as a CIO at several large law firms, Jeff has helped bring oversight, coordination and change management to initiatives including: knowledge management, library & research services, eDiscovery, records management, technology and more. Most recently, he served as the Chief Information and Knowledge Officer with an AMLaw 100 law firm based out of Washington, DC.

Jeff has also been asked to serve on numerous advisory councils and CIO advisory boards for key vendors in the legal space, advising them on issues of client service and future product direction.  He is a long time member (and former board member) of the International Legal Technology Association (ILTA) and has taught CLE classes on topics ranging from litigation support to ethics and technology.

What do you consider to be the current significant trends in eDiscovery in 2011 and beyond on which people in the industry are, or should be, focused?

I would say that the biggest two are the project management component and, for lack of a better term, automated or artificial intelligence.

The whole concept and the complexities of what it takes to manage a case today are more challenging than ever, including issues like the number of sources, the amount of data in the sources, the format in which you’re producing, where can the data go and who can see it.  I remember the days when people used to take a couple of bankers boxes, put them in their car and go home and work on the documents.  You simply cannot do that today – the amount of information today is just insane.

As for artificial intelligence, as was discussed in the (Pinhawk) digest recently, you’re seeing the emergence of predictive coding and using computers to cull through the massive amounts of information so that a human can take the final pass.  I think more and more we’re going to see people relying on those types of technologies – some because they embrace it, others because there is no other way to humanly do it.

I think if there’s any third trend it would probably be where do we go next to get the data?  In terms of social media, mining Facebook and Twitter and all the other various sources for additional data as part of the discovery process has become a challenge.

You recently became editor of the Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest.  Tell me about that and about your plans for the digest.

Well, I think there are several things going forward.  My role is to keep up the good work that Curt Meltzer, the founding editor, started and fill the “big shoes” that Curt left behind.  My goal is to expand the sources of information from which Pinhawk draws.  There are about 400 sources today and I think by the time my sources (and possibly a few others) are added in, there will be over 500.  We’ve also talked about going to our readership and asking them “what are your go-to and must read sources?” to include those sources as well.  We’ll also be looking to incorporate social media tools to hopefully make the experience much more comprehensive and easier to participate in for the Pinhawk digest reader.

And, what should we be looking for in your column in Legal IT Professionals?

Well, I like to dabble in multiple areas – in the small consulting practice that I have, I do a little bit of everything.  I’ve recently done some very interesting work in communities of practice, using social media tools, focusing them inward in law firms to provide the forum for lawyers to open up, share and mentor to others.  I like KM (Knowledge Management) and related topics and we had a recent post in Pinhawk talking about the future of the law firm.  To me, those types of discussions are fascinating.

You take the extremes and you’ve got the “law factory”, you take the high-end and you’ve got the “bet the farm” law firm.  How technology plays a role in whatever culture, whatever focus a law firm puts itself on is interesting.  And then you watch and see some of the rumblings and inklings of what can be done in places like Australia, where you have third-party investment of law firms and the United Kingdom, where they are about to get third-party investment.  There was a recent article about third-party ownership of law firms in North Carolina.  You look at examples like that and you say “is the model of partnership alive?”  When you get into “big law”, are they really partnerships?  Where are they in the spectrum of a thousand sole practitioners operating under one letterhead to a firm of a thousand lawyers?  That’s where I think that communities of practice and social media tools are going to help lawyers know more about their own partners and own firms. 

It’s sad that in some firms the lawyers on the north side of the building don’t even know the lawyers on the south side of the building, let alone the people on the eighth floor vs. the tenth floor.  It’s a changing landscape.  When I got into legal and was first a CIO at Porter, Wright, Morris & Arthur, 250 lawyers in Columbus, Ohio was the 83rd largest law firm in the US – an AMLAW 100 firm.  Today, does that size a firm even make it into the AMLAW 250?

In my column at Legal IT Professionals, you’ll see more about KM and change management.  Another part of my practice is mentoring IT executives in how to deal with business problems related to the business of law and I think that might be my next post – free advice to the aspiring CIO.

This might sound odd coming from a technologist, but…it’s not really about the technology.  From a broad standpoint, you can be successful with most software tools.  A law firm isn’t going to be made or broken whether it chose OpenText or iManage as a document management tool or chose a specific litigation support tool.  It is more about the people, the education and the process than it is the actual tool.  Yes, there are some horrible tools that you should avoid, but, all things being equal, it’s really more the other pieces of the equation that determine your success.

Thanks, Jeff, for participating in the interview!

And to the readers, as always, please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic!

CORRECTION: Announcing Thought Leader Interview with Jeffrey Brandt, Editor of Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest

 

As eDiscovery Daily has done in the past, we have periodically interviewed various thought leaders in eDiscovery and legal technology to provide insight as to trends in the industry for our readers to consider.  Recently, I was able to interview Jeffrey Brandt, Editor of the Pinhawk Law Technology Daily Digest and columnist for Legal IT Professionals.

With an educational background in computer science and mathematics from the University of Pittsburgh, Jeff has over twenty four years of experience in the field of legal automation working with various organizations in the United States, Canada, and the United Kingdom.  I believe you will find he has some unique insights to share with the readers of eDiscovery Daily regarding legal technology trends.

I had stated that Jeff's interview will be published this Friday, April 22, but forgot that this Friday is Good Friday (no blog post that day, sorry!).  So, Jeff's interview will be published next Monday, April 25 instead.  Mark your calendars!

What eDiscovery Professionals Can Learn from the Internet Gambling Crack Down

 

Many of you may have heard about the FBI cracking down on the three largest online gambling sites in the past few days, as the owners of those sites in the United States have been indicted and charged with bank fraud, money laundering and illegal gambling offenses and the sites have been essentially shut down in the US.  Restraining orders have been issued against more than 75 bank accounts in 14 countries used by the poker companies PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker and Absolute Poker.  Many US customers of these sites are now scrambling to try to get their funds out of the sites and finding it difficult to do so.

So what?  This is an eDiscovery blog, right?  What does an Internet gambling crack down have to do with eDiscovery?

PokerStars, Full Tilt Poker, Absolute Poker and other gambling sites are cloud-based, Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) applications.  Just like Amazon, Facebook, Twitter, eBay, YouTube and SalesForce.com, these sites provide an application via the web that enables its clients to receive a service.  In the case of Amazon, it’s the ability to purchase any number of products.  For Facebook, it’s the ability to share information with friends and family.  For these gambling sites, it’s the ability to play poker for money with anyone else in the world who has the same gambling itch that you do and a broadband connection.

The problem is: in the US, it’s illegal.  The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 prohibits gambling businesses from knowingly accepting payments related to a bet or wager that involves the use of the Internet and that is unlawful under any federal or state law.  So, these sites are hosted in other countries to attempt to skirt the law.

What many US customers of these sites are finding out is the same thing that eDiscovery professionals discover when they need to retrieve cloud-based data in response to a discovery request: it’s imperative to know where your data is stored.  It’s likely that many customers of these gambling sites knew that their funds were kept off-shore, while others may not have known this was the case.  Regardless, they’re now scrambling to get their data (i.e., funds) back — if they can.

Many organizations are “in the same boat” when it comes to their SaaS providers – it may be unclear where that data is being stored and it may be difficult to retrieve if it’s stored in a foreign country with a different set of laws.  It’s important to establish (in writing if possible) with the provider up front where the data will be stored and agree on procedures such as records management/destruction schedules so that you know where your data is stored and can get access to it when you need it.  Don’t gamble with your data.

So, what do you think?  Do you have organizational data in a SaaS-based solution?  Do you have a plan for getting that data when you need it?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Full disclosure: I work for Trial Solutions, which provides SaaS-based eDiscovery review applications FirstPass® (for first pass review) and OnDemand® (for linear review and production).  Our clients’ data is hosted in a secured Tier 4 Data Center in Houston, Texas, where Trial Solutions is headquartered.

eDiscovery Trends: 2011 eDiscovery Errors Survey

 

As noted in Legal IT Professionals on Friday, LDM Global on Friday announced the results of its 2011 eDiscovery Errors survey. The company asked a selection of industry professionals their views on which errors they experienced most often during the discovery process. Results were collected from across the USA, Europe and Australia.

According to Scott Merrick, LDM Global Marketing Director and survey author, “Our goal was to find out what the real, day to day issues and problems are around the discovery process.”  He also noted that “Of particular interest was the ongoing challenge of good communication. Technology has not solved that challenge and it remains at the forefront of where mistakes are made.”

The respondents of the survey were broken down into the following groups: Litigation Support Professionals 47%, Lawyers 30%, Paralegals 11%, IT Professionals 9% and Others 3%.  Geographically, the United States and Europe had 46% of the respondents each, with the remaining 8% of respondents coming from Australia.  LDM Global did not identify the total number of respondents to the survey.

For each question about errors, respondents were asked to classify the error as “frequently occurs”, “occasionally occurs”, “not very common” or “never occurs”.  Based on responses, the most common errors are:

  • Failure to Effectively Communicate across Teams: 50% of the respondents identified this error as one that frequently occurs
  • An Inadequate Data Retention Policy: 47% of the respondents identified this error as one that frequently occurs
  • Not Collecting all Pertinent Data: 41% of the respondents identified this error as one that frequently occurs
  • Failure to Perform Critical Quality Control (i.e., sampling): 40% of the respondents identified this error as one that frequently occurs
  • Badly Thought Out, or Badly Implemented, Policy: 40% of the respondents identified this error as one that frequently occurs

Perhaps one of the most surprising results is that only 14% of respondents identified Spoliation of evidence, or the inability to preserve relevant emails as an error that frequently occurs.  So, why are there so many cases in which sanctions have been issued for that very issue?  Interesting…

For complete survey results, go to LDMGlobal.com.

So, what do you think?  What are the most common eDiscovery errors that your organization has encountered?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Trends: Sedona Conference Database Principles

 

A few months ago, eDiscovery Daily posted about discovery of databases and how few legal teams understand database discovery and know how to handle it.  We provided a little pop quiz to test your knowledge of databases, with the answers here.

Last month, The Sedona Conference® Working Group on Electronic Document Retention & Production (WG1) published the Public Comment Version of The Sedona Conference® Database Principles – Addressing the Preservation & Production of Databases &Database Information in Civil Litigation to provide guidance and recommendations to both requesting and producing parties to simplify discovery of databases and information derived from databases.  You can download the publication here.

As noted in the Executive Overview of the publication, some of the issues that make database discovery so challenging include:

  • More enterprise-level information is being stored in searchable data repositories, rather than in discrete electronic files,
  • The diverse and complicated ways in which database information can be stored has made it difficult to develop universal “best-practice” approaches to requesting and producing information stored in databases,
  • Retention guidelines that make sense for archival databases (databases that add new information without deleting past records) rapidly break down when applied to transactional databases where much of the system’s data may be retained for a limited time – as short as thirty days or even thirty seconds.

The commentary is broken into three primary sections:

  • Section I: Introduction to databases and database theory,
  • Section II: Application of The Sedona Principles, designed for all forms of ESI, to discovery of databases,
  • Section III: Proposal of six new Principles that pertain specifically to databases with commentary to support the Working Group’s recommendations.  The principles are stated as follows:
    • Absent a specific showing of need or relevance, a requesting party is entitled only to database fields that contain relevant information, not the entire database in which the information resides or the underlying database application or database engine.
    • Due to differences in the way that information is stored or programmed into a database, not all information in a database may be equally accessible, and a party’s request for such information must be analyzed for relevance and proportionality.
    • Requesting and responding parties should use empirical information, such as that generated from test queries and pilot projects, to ascertain the burden to produce information stored in databases and to reach consensus on the scope of discovery.
    • A responding party must use reasonable measures to validate ESI collected from database systems to ensure completeness and accuracy of the data acquisition.
    • Verifying information that has been correctly exported from a larger database or repository is a separate analysis from establishing the accuracy, authenticity, or admissibility of the substantive information contained within the data.
    • The way in which a requesting party intends to use database information is an important factor in determining an appropriate format of production.

To submit a public comment, you can download a public comment form here, complete it and fax (yes, fax) it to The Sedona Conference® at 928-284-4240.  You can also email a general comment to them at tsc@sedona.net.

eDiscovery Daily will be delving into this document in more detail in future posts.  Stay tuned!

So, what do you think?  Do you have a need for guidelines for database discovery?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

eDiscovery Case Law: Conclusion of Case Does Not Preclude Later Sanctions

In Green v. Blitz U.S.A., Inc., (E.D. Tex. Mar. 1, 2011), the defendant in a product liability action that had been settled over a year earlier was sanctioned for “blatant discovery abuses” prior to the settlement. Defendant was ordered to add $250,000 to its settlement with plaintiff, to provide a copy of the court’s order to every plaintiff in every lawsuit against defendant for the past two years or else forfeit an additional $500,000 “purging” sanction, and to include the order in its first responsive pleading in every lawsuit for the next five years in which defendant became involved.

Defendant, a manufacturer of gasoline containers, was named in several product liability lawsuits, including this case in which plaintiff alleged that her husband’s death was caused in part by the lack of a flame arrestor on defendant’s gas cans. The jury in plaintiff’s case returned a verdict for defendant after counsel for defendant argued that “science shows” that flame arrestors did not work. The case was settled after the jury verdict for an undisclosed amount, but two years later, counsel for plaintiff sought sanctions and to have the case reopened after learning in another case against defendant that while the gas can lawsuits were underway, defendant had been instructing its employees to destroy email.

The court described defendant’s failure to implement a litigation hold as gas can cases were filed. A single employee met with other employees to ask them to look for documents, but he did not have any electronic searches made for documents and he did not consult with defendant’s information technology department on how to retrieve electronic documents.

The court held that defendant willfully violated the discovery order in the case by not producing key documents such as a handwritten note indicating a desire to install flame arrestors on gas cans and an email noting that the technology for flame arrestors existed given the common use of flame arrestors in the marine industry. “Any competent electronic discovery effort would have located this email,” according to the court, through a key word search. Defendant’s employee in charge of discovery did not conduct a key word search and, despite acknowledging that he was as computer “illiterate as they get,” did not seek help from defendant’s information technology department, which was routinely sending out instructions to employees to delete email and rotating backup tapes every two weeks while the litigation was underway.

The court declined to reopen the case since it had been closed for a year. However, based on its knowledge of the confidential settlement of the parties, the court ordered defendant to pay plaintiff an additional $250,000 as a civil contempt sanction to match the minimum amount that the settlement would have been if plaintiff had been provided documents withheld by defendant. The court also ordered a “civil purging sanction” of $500,000 which defendant could avoid upon showing proof that a copy of the court’s decision had been provided to every plaintiff in a lawsuit against defendant for the past two years. The court added a requirement that defendant include a copy of the court’s opinion in its first pleading in any lawsuit for the next five years in which defendant became a party.

As Yogi Berra would say, “It ain’t over ‘til it’s over”.

So, what do you think?  Should cases be re-opened after they’re concluded for discovery violations?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Case Summary Source: Applied Discovery (free subscription required).  For eDiscovery news and best practices, check out the Applied Discovery Blog here.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by CloudNine Discovery. eDiscoveryDaily is made available by CloudNine Discovery solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscoveryDaily should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.