Post Process

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Archive for September 6th, 2007

Case Summary: Quintus Corp.; Court grants default judgment in b/r trial where defendant was found to have destroyed evidence

Posted by rjbiii on September 6, 2007

In a bankruptcy trial where defendant had destroyed electronic files, evidence that “went to the heart of the Trustee’s suit,” for the purpose of clearing more drive space; where defendant had breached a contract and therefore knew that the files would be relevant to potential litigation, the court ruled that judgment should be entered in favor of the Trustee for all claims listed in the Debtors’ b/r schedules and on the claims register. Trustee’s motion seeking attorneys’ fees as well was denied because the court granted a more severe sanction. In re Quintus Corp. v. Avaya, Inc., 353 B.R. 77 (Bkrtcy. D. Del. 2006).

Posted in 3d Circuit, Bankruptcy Judge Mary A. Walrath, Case Summary, D. Del., Data Management, Document Retention, Duty to Preserve, Sanctions, Spoliation | Leave a Comment »

Case Summary: Tschirhart; Court grants a default judgment to plaintiff after finding defendant deliberately destroyed evidence

Posted by rjbiii on September 6, 2007

In a trial concerning copyright infringement by the user of peer-to-peer systems, the court granted plaintiff recording company a default judgment against defendant, concluding that defendant deliberately destroyed the evidence, music files that had resided on the hard drive of her computer, in bad faith. A forensics expert found that defendant had “wiped” the hard drive after notice of litigation and again after the court ordered defendant to produce the computer for a forensic examination. Defendant, while not disputing the deletion operations occurred, claimed that they occurred as a part of automated defragmentation operations. The court was not convinced. In addition to a finding of bad faith, the court also found that the three elements required by the Fifth Circuit to dismiss the case had been established. Specifically, the court concluded that: (1) the destruction of evidence was attributable to the client and not the attorney; (2) the destruction caused substantial prejudice to the opposing party; and (3) a less drastic sanction was not appropriate. The plaintiff’s motion for terminating sanctions was granted, while defendant was ordered to pay the amount of the costs and fees relating to the filing of the motion. Arista Records LLC v. Tschirhart, 241 F.R.D. 462 (W.D. Tex. 2006).

Posted in 5th Circuit, Case Summary, Computer Forensics, Data Management, Default Judgment, Document Retention, Duty to Preserve, Judge Orlando L. Garcia, Sanctions, W.D. Tex. | Leave a Comment »

Case Blurb: Napster C/R Litigation; Court discusses factors to consider for Default Judgement Sanction, 9th Circuit

Posted by rjbiii on September 6, 2007

When considering a default sanction in response to spoliation of evidence, the court must determine:

  • The existence of certain extraordinary circumstances;
  • The presence of willfulness, bad faith, or fault by the offending party;
  • The efficacy of lesser sanction; and
  • The nexus between the misconduct drawing the sanction and the matters in controversy in the case. In re Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 462 F.Supp.2d 1060 (N. D. Cal. 2006) (citing Halaco Eng’g Co. v. Costle, 943 F.2d 976, 380 (9th Cir. 1988).
  • Additionally, the court may consider the prejudice to the moving party as an “optional” consideration where appropriate. In re Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 462 F.Supp.2d 1060 (N. D. Cal. 2006) (citing Halaco Eng’g Co. v. Costle, 943 F.2d 976, 380 (9th Cir. 1988).

The multi-factor test is not “a mechanical means for determining what sanction is just, but rather “a way for a district judge to think about what to do. Id.
Extraordinary circumstances exist where there is a pattern of disregard for Court orders and deceptive litigation tactics that threaten to interfere with the rightful decision of a case. Id. (citing several cases).
Dismissal is warranted where…a party has engaged deliberately in deceptive practices that undermine the integrity of judicial proceedings. Id. (citing Annheuser-Busch, Inc. v. Natural Beverage Distributors, 709 F.2d 585, 591 (9th Cir. 1983)).
[T]he deliberate deception and irreparable loss of material evidence justifie[s] the sanction of dismissal. Id. (citing Wyle. V. R.J. Reynolds Tobacco Co., 709 F.2d 585, 591 (9th Cir. 1983)).

Posted in 9th Circuit, Case Blurbs, Default Judgment, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, N.D. Cal., Sanctions | Leave a Comment »