Loest & McNamme v. Camera / Broadbent Selections

Plaintiff’s counsel filed Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions against Defendants Katherine Camera, an individual, and Broadbent Selections, Inc.

“… the Court should grant sanctions against Defendants and/or their attorneys for violating Illinois Supreme Court Rule 137 and award Plaintiff appropriate fees and costs incurred as a result of this violation.”

Defendants’ Counsel Mr. Joseph Marconi and Mr. Victor J. Pioli of Johnson & Bell LTD. successfully defeated those allegations.

Counsel for Defendant

Victor Pioli, Shareholder with Johnson & Bell, LTD.

Counsel for defendant

Joseph Marconi, Shareholder with Johnson & Bell, LTD.

In support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions, Plaintiff submitted a Memorandum in Support of Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions alleging willful and intentional spoliation of evidence.

The public transcript of the Circuit Court of Cook County, Illinois Chancery Division for the December 19th, 2013 motion hearing held before the Honorable Cook County Circuit Court Judge Mary L. Mikva reveals some startling outcomes about what had truly took place relating to an external hard drive Plaintiff insisted had been wiped clean of data.

Plaintiff’s expert issued an opinion in support of the Plaintiff’s Motion for Sanctions, expressing his opinion that the original external hard drive used by Katherine Camera had been wiped clean.

The night before the hearing, Forensicon Senior Forensic Examiner, Yaniv Schiff, performed further testing of the forensic image and original drive released to Forensicon for inspection in order to allow for Defendants and Defendants’ counsel the opportunity to respond to the harsh allegations being made.

Yaniv Schiff

Forensicon Senior Forensic Examiner Yaniv Schiff

Senior Computer Forensics Examiner Yaniv Schiff performed additional testing beyond simply examining the forensic image that had be captured by Plaintiff’s computer forensics expert.  During Schiff’s testing and analysis of the original external USB hard drive, Schiff realized that when the original external USB hard drive was plugged into a Mac OS X computer, the Western  Digital’s preloaded software on the external hard drive would auto execute the decryption program to allow the computer user to unlock the encrypted contents of the hard drive using a password.  After Schiff connected the Western Digital hard drive to the Mac OS X testing computer, the software loaded and prompted  him to enter the decryption password.  Schiff did not know the password, but reported that he was able to guess the password using the password hint feature that was part of the application.  Once Schiff entered the password, the contents of the external hard drive appeared, whereupon Schiff reported making a forensic image of the decrypted contents of the hard drive to ensure that the data would be preserved in its present state.

During the court hearing the next day, and following a lengthy presentation by Plaintiff’s counsel and computer forensics expert detailing their “evidence” of intentional hard drive wiping, Schiff began testifying to Judge Mikva and shared his recent test findings.  Schiff requested the court grant him the opportunity to demonstrate how he was able to view the contents of the hard drive. Judge Mikva granted Schiff’s request and watched as Schiff projected an image of the Mac laptop Schiff used to connect the original external hard drive to the computer.  Once Schiff connected the subject external hard drive to the Mac laptop, the password prompt appeared whereupon Schiff entered the password and the drive contents displayed against the courtroom wall.  Judge Mikva looked on and appeared astonished at what had just transpired.  We will leave it to the transcript for you to form your own conclusions regarding the Judge’s reaction.  Judge Mikva had some interesting things to say about what she had just witnessed.  Read the transcript for more details.

Please review the court hearing transcript for the complete account of events that took place at: Dec 19th, 2013 Motion for Sanctions Hearing Court Transcript.

This case is still pending in Cook County, Illinois.


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