John Browning, Dancing Around Facebook Spoliation

Law Technology News, Aug. 29, 2014 From the article “It’s almost always a bad idea to tell clients to “clean up” their Facebook accounts”. Author describes several authorities discussing lawyers’ conduct while advising clients on the use of social media sites, like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Mentioned Ethics Opinions: New York County Lawyers Association Ethics […]

Nathan M. Crystal, Judge Scheindlin Orders Adverse Inference Instruction on Behalf of Defendant for Plaintiff’s Gross Negligence in Failing to Timely Institute Litigation Hold

In Sekisui American Corp. v. Hart, 2013 WL 4116322 (Aug. 15, 2013), Judge Scheindlin has added another important opinion to the law of electronic discovery.  In 2003-2005 Judge Shira Scheindlin of the Southern District of New York issued five rulings in the Zubulake case that have become the basis of much of the law with regard to the […]

Nathan M. Crystal, Excerpt from Professional Responsibility – Problems of Practice and the Profession – Recording by Lawyers

In Formal Opinion 01-422, the ABA Committee withdrew Opinion 337 and took a more generous view of recording by lawyers. The Committee decided that secret recording was not necessarily dishonest. The Committee cautioned lawyers that they could not engage in secret recording that violated the law of the jurisdiction where the recording occurred, nor could […]

Charles Doyle, Wiretapping, Tape Recorders, and Legal Ethics: an Abridged Overview of Questions Posed by Attorney Involvement in Secretly Recording Conversation

CRS Report for Congress R42649 The report describes the view of American jurisdictions on attorneys recording of conversations. In the majority of jurisdictions a “recording with the consent of one, but not all, of the parties to a conversation is not unethical per se unless it is illegal or contrary to some other ethical standard” […]

Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., 2010 WL 1336937 (S.D. Cal.)

On January 7, 2010, the United States District Court, Southern District of California, reversed the decision to sanction outside attorneys for failing to produce tens of thousands of key documents. In 2008, the Court had issued a Sanctions Order against Qualcomm and its counsel for “intentionally with[holding] tens of thousands of documents that defendant [Broadcom] […]

Consol. Aluminum Corp. v. Alcoa, Inc., 244 F.R.D. 335 (M.D. La. 2006)

In an action concerning environmental cleanup responsibilities, the plaintiff [Consolidated] contended that the defendant’s designation of only four employees to maintain a litigation hold was inadequate. Considering the lack of precedent within the Fifth Circuit as to standards for preservation of electronic evidence and sanctions for spoliation of electronic evidence, the Court held that plaintiff […]

Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, “Zubulake V”, 229 F.R.D. 422 (S.D.N.Y. 2004)

In the Introduction section of the opinion, the court provided a brief background of the case, the motion at hand, and the issues for consideration: “This is the fifth written opinion in this case, a relatively routine employment discrimination dispute in which discovery has now lasted over two years. Laura Zubulake is once again moving to […]

Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, “Zubulake IV”, 220 F.R.D. 212 (S.D.N.Y. 2003)

From the Opinion: “This opinion addresses both the scope of a litigant’s duty to preserve electronic documents and the consequences of a failure to preserve documents that fall within the scope of that duty.” After UBS was ordered to produce documents from certain backup tapes, the parties discovered that certain tapes were missing. The court […]