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Quinn Emanuel Sanctioned for Inadvertent Disclosure, Samsung Escapes Sanction – eDiscovery Case Law

California Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal has now handed down an order on motions for sanctions against Samsung and the Quinn Emanuel law firm in the never-ending Apple v. Samsung litigation for the inadvertent disclosure of confidential agreements that Apple had with Nokia, Ericsson, Sharp and Philips – now widely referred to as “patentgate”.

After discovery on the matter, Judge Grewal ruled as follows:

“Quinn Emanuel shall reimburse Apple, Nokia, and their counsel for any and all costs and fees incurred in litigating this motion and the discovery associated with it, as required by Rule 37 in the absence of ‘substantial justification’ or other showing of ‘harmlessness,’ neither of which the court finds here. That expense, in addition to the public findings of wrongdoing, is, in the court’s opinion, sufficient both to remedy Apple and Nokia’s harm and to discourage similar conduct in the future.”

Basically, Judge Grewal determined that “what began as a chorus of loud and certain accusations had died down to aggressive suppositions and inferences, and without anything more, Quinn Emanuel and Samsung cannot reasonably be subject to more punitive sanctions”.

Apple and Nokia had proposed a number of “creative” sanctions that Quinn and Samsung ranging from an injunction against Samsung in the case to a ten-year ban from representing any party adverse to Nokia – suggestions that Judge Grewal referred to as “ludicrously overbroad”.

For a link to the order, click here.

For our previous coverage of the case, click here, here, here, here and here.

So, what do you think?  Did Samsung and Quinn Emanuel get off lightly?  Or was the sanction appropriate?   Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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