eDiscovery Daily Blog

Does This Scare You? – eDiscovery Horrors!

Today is Halloween.  While we could try to “scare” you with the traditional “frights”, we’re an eDiscovery blog, so every year we try to “scare” you in a different way instead.  Does this scare you?

The defendant had been previously sanctioned $500,000 ($475,000 to the plaintiff and $25,000 to the court) and held in contempt of court by the magistrate judge for spoliation, who also recommended an adverse inference instruction be issued at trial.  The defendant appealed to the district court, where Minnesota District Judge John Tunheim increased the award to the plaintiff to $600,000.  Oops!

What about this?

Even though the litigation hold letter from April 2008 was sent to the primary custodians, at least one principal was determined to have actively deleted relevant emails. Additionally, the plaintiffs made no effort to suspend the automatic destruction policy of emails, so emails that were deleted could not be recovered.  Ultimately, the court found that 9 of 14 key custodians had deleted relevant documents. After the defendants raised its spoliation concerns with the court, the plaintiffs continued to delete relevant information, including decommissioning and discarding an email server without preserving any of the relevant ESI.  As a result, the New York Supreme Court imposed the severest of sanctions against the plaintiffs for spoliation of evidence – dismissal of their $20 million case.

Or this?

For most organizations, information volume doubles every 18-24 months and 90% of the data in the world has been created in the last two years. In a typical company in 2011, storing that data consumed about 10% of the IT budget. At a growth rate of 40% (even as storage unit costs decline), storing this data will consume over 20% of the typical IT budget by 2014.

How about this?

There “was stunned silence by all attorneys in the court room after that order. It looks like neither side saw it coming.”

Or maybe this?

If you have deleted any of your photos from Facebook in the past three years, you may be surprised to find that they are probably still on the company’s servers.

Scary, huh?  If the possibility of sanctions, exponential data growth and judges ordering parties to perform predictive coding keep you awake at night, then the folks at eDiscovery Daily will do our best to provide useful information and best practices to enable you to relax and sleep soundly, even on Halloween!

Then again, if the expense, difficulty and risk of processing and loading up to 100 GB of data into an eDiscovery review application that you’ve never used before terrifies you, maybe you should check this out.

Of course, if you seriously want to get into the spirit of Halloween, click here.  This will really terrify you!

Those of you who are really mortified that the next post in Jane Gennarelli’s “Litigation 101” series won’t run this week, fear not – it will run tomorrow.

What do you think?  Is there a particular eDiscovery issue that scares you?  Please share your comments and let us know if you’d like more information on a particular topic.

Happy Halloween!

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.