Post Process

Everything to do with E-discovery & ESI

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)).

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