Producer’s use of computer after entry of an injunction prohibiting destruction of relevant data did not constitute spoliation

Producer’s use of computer after entry of an injunction prohibiting destruction of relevant data did not constitute spoliation

Mintel International Group, Ltd. v. Neergheen, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 2323 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 12, 2010)

Defendant producer had worked in plaintiff’s marketing department, and had had access to plaintiff requestor’s confidential information. Defendant had signed an employment agreement containing a confidentiality clause, and a covenant not to compete. In 2007, plaintiff restructured its marketing department and eliminated defendant’s job. Defendant was offered a temporary position in January 2008, and began to look for new employment, of which plaintiff was aware. Defendant was hired by a new company in April, 2008.

Plaintiff had provided defendant with a laptop, which was used, along with USB drives, for his work with plaintiff. During his exit interview, plaintiff did not ask defendant to return the laptop and devices, and defendant continued to use the laptop and storage devices during his temporary employment. Between April 23, when he informed plaintiff he was leaving, and April 30, plaintiff began monitoring defendant’s e-mails. During this period, defendant sent 8 emails to his personal e-mail address (a practice not prohibited by plaintiff).

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Judge Scheindlin analyzes the law of spoliation

The Pension Committee of the University of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of America Securities, LLC, 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 1839 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 11, 2010)

Plaintiff producers were a group of investors who had brought an action to recover $550 million lost as a result of the liquidation of two British Virgin Island hedge funds. In October, 2007, the Citco Defendants claimed that large gaps in plaintiffs’ document production had been found. Depositions were held and declarations submitted between October, 2007 and June 2008. As a result of this discovery, defendant requestors moved for sanctions, alleging that plaintiffs had failed to properly preserve and produce documents, and had submitted false declarations regarding their efforts.

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UR Journal of Law & Technology survey issue on e-discovery

The Journal of Law and Technology, an online law review published by the University of Richmond law school, has published its Spring 2007 survey issue on electronic discovery. A link to that issue, as well as the other e-discovery survey issues, is available here.

Data Backup Systems

Data Backup Systems

An understanding of data backup systems is important for locating responsive electronic data. Three backup strategies are available to data administrators. The full backup, as the name implies, backs up all system data. However, even full backups do not commonly involve the backup of all data. Application files (such as the files which compromise Microsoft Word) are not usually backed up since they can be reinstalled using the application CDs. Instead, only configuration files and actual data files created by the users are backed up. A system restoration requires only the most recent full backup. However, full backups take the most time and media space. The differential backup saves files which have changed since the last full backup. The last full backup and the most recent differential backup are required to restore the system. The incremental backup saves only those files which have changed since the last incremental backup. It requires the least amount of backup time and space, but all incremental backups since the last full backup are required to restore the system. The size of the system may require that incremental backups be performed during the week and full backups on the weekend. The difference between the different types of backup strategies is illustrated below:

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