Sanction Granted for Spoliation when Defendant Relied on Third Party to Preserve ESI

On February 24, 2017, the US District Court for the Northern District of California imposed sanction on a party failing to preserve electronically stored information (ESI) transferred in the sale of business. In this action for breach of duties under ERISA, the Court granted Plaintiffs’ motion for sanctions for spoliation of evidence. An insurance company […]

Comprehensive Ethics Opinion on Lawyers’ Use of Social Media issued in West Virginia

On September 22, 2015, the West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel Legal Ethics issued a comprehensive opinion to provide the guidance for lawyers on the use of social media for both business and personal matters.  West Virginia Office of Disciplinary Counsel Legal Ethics Opinion 2015-02 Lawyer Disciplinary Board – L.E.O. 2015-02 The Disciplinary Board provided […]

Allyson Haynes Stuart, The 3 “C’s” of Ethics in E-Discovery. Part One

E-discovery is inseparable from the issue of ethics. Because lawyer duties and requirements permeate the realm of e-discovery, they invariably implicate lawyers’ ethical duties. This is illustrated by the fact that the most notorious e-discovery cases are ones where lawyers are heavily sanctioned – including referral to a state bar for disciplinary proceedings. This article […]

The 3 “C’s” of Ethics in E-Discovery Allyson Haynes Stuart – Part Two

Read Part One II. Candor F.R.C.P. 26(g) has its own Rule-11-type signature provision for discovery requests, responses and objections. If the certification of truthfulness, completeness, and propriety in law and fact violates the rule “without substantial justification,” the court is required to impose “an appropriate sanction” on counsel, the represented party, or both. Additional requirements […]

Deactivated social media accounts are discoverable and must be produced

In this personal injury case, the Eastern District Court of Louisiana issued a discovery order for the production of a deactivated Facebook account. These the facts: an employee sued his employer for an injury suffered on the job. However, the employer filed a request for production of the employee’s Facebook account claiming to have seen […]

Pennsylvania Bar Association Formal Opinion 2014-300

The Pennsylvania Bar Association issued a formal opinion on attorneys’ use of social media. The opinion deals with the following issues: (1) whether attorneys may advise clients about the content of the clients’ social networking websites; (2) whether attorneys may connect with a client or former client on a social networking website; (3) whether attorneys […]