Court Grants Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions Due to Discovery Deficiencies
2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 38867 (S.D.N.Y. April 20, 2010)
On plaintiff’s motion for sanctions due to discovery deficiencies, the Southern District of New York imposed a $25,000 fine on a litigant whose failure to properly install a litigation hold and conduct appropriate searches for relevant email represented a diligence that fell “well below the minimum standard that a reasonably prudent person would use.”
What began as a false labeling allegation under the Lanham Act became a discovery dispute when defendant Gnosis’ initial production amounted to only 107 pages. Believing relevant documents and email had been withheld, the plaintiff identified several deficiencies and requested further discovery from the defendant. After two months and several additional requests, the defendant had produced an additional 6200 pages but had not disclosed the allegedly missing documents.
During an evidentiary hearing, the defendant admitted to several discovery abuses. The defendant had not installed a written litigation hold and, as a result, had not stopped the automatic deletion of all emails more than 15 days old. The company had performed only a cursory document search and argued that it had failed to produce the requested documents because of its poor understanding of the search tool provided in its email client.
Relying heavily on the analysis in Pension Committee of University of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of America Securities, the court found that the defendant’s failure to issue a written litigation hold amounted to gross negligence. The court noted that the defendant’s first search for relevant email had been insufficient and could have easily been improved to produce the wealth of documents that were later discovered. In addition, the defendant’s decision to withhold documents it believed to be “insufficiently important” displayed “an unacceptable disrespect for the judicial process.”
The court granted the plaintiff’s motion for sanctions by awarding costs and imposing a $25,000 fine on the defendant to prevent future discovery misconduct and to install a “modicum of respect for the judicial process.”
- Staff Recognized for Departing Employee Investigations - The first issue of Corporate Counsel Business Journal, CCBJ, includes an interview with our Director of Digital Forensics, Yaniv Schiff, and Solutions Architect, Curtis Collette, on the evolution of departing employee investigations. Departing Employee: When Do Investigations Become Necessary? appeared in the print publication, online edition, and on CCBJ’s In-House Tech website. For Increasing Numbers of Employers, Departing Employee Investigations[...Read More]
- Chicago Office Food Drive – The Results Are In - QDiscovery’s Chicago Office collected nearly 1,000 containers of food for the local food bank this Holiday Season! Our office competed with sister offices in Indiana and Connecticut. Alas, we came in third. Our sister offices each collected nearly 2,000 containers for their local food banks. Relatively new to the company-wide food drive, the Forensics Division[...Read More]
- QDiscovery QMobile App Wins Innovation Award - QDiscovery’s QMobile is winner of a 2017 Relativity Innovation Award. Presented at Relativity Fest, the Innovation Award celebrates organizations that create apps or integrations that extend the functionality of Relativity’s eDiscovery software. Our development team created an application that makes the analysis of mobile collections much more manageable. Relativity users can now produce and review mobile[...Read More]
- Moving and Changing - Acquired by Connecticut-based QDiscovery in 2016, Forensicon’s capabilities multiplied overnight, both in forensics brain power and eDiscovery expertise. As part of a leading provider of end to end litigation support, moving to larger offices that are more central to the Chicago legal community was inevitable.
- QDiscovery Named One of the Top 20 Providers of Legal Services! - Leading industry publication, CIO Magazine, has named Forensicon’s parent company, QDiscovery, to it’s Top 20 Providers of Legal Services. The annual listing includes 20 companies that are at the forefront of providing legal solutions and impacting the marketplace. Read the whole article here. Featured in the publication alongside QDiscovery President, Dave Barrett, is Director of Digital Forensics, Yaniv[...Read More]