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Archive for the ‘Judge Marilyn Hall Patel’ Category

Case Summary: Napster C/R Litigation; Producing Party’s duty to preserve not relieved after suit ends

Posted by rjbiii on September 11, 2007

Court held that a producing party’s obligation to preserve documents was not relieved despite the dismissal of a lawsuit to which it was a party, because counsel for plaintiff’s sent producing party a letter threatening litigation the month following the dismissal, and an executive for the producing party displayed anticipation of that litigation by stating in an email “we know we are going to be sued.” Producing party’s claim that the unequivocal statement in the email was merely a negotiating tactic designed to secure an indemnification provision in a contract did not persuade the court that the statement was unimportant because even if this was true the mere fact that the party was pursuing such indemnification demonstrates there was a reasonable probability of litigation of which the party was aware. In re Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 462 F.Supp.2d 1060 (N. D. Cal. 2006).

Posted in 9th Circuit, Case Summary, Duty to Preserve, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, N.D. Cal. | 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 »

Case Blurb: Napster C/R Litigation, any destruction once duty to preserve attaches is negligence

Posted by rjbiii on August 28, 2007

Once the duty to preserve attaches, any destruction of documents is, at a minimum, negligence. In re Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 2006 WL 3050864 (N. D. Cal. 2006) (citing Zubulake, 220 F.R.D. 220).

Posted in 9th Circuit, Case Blurbs, Duty to Preserve, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, N.D. Cal., Spoliation | Leave a Comment »

Case Blurb: Napster C/R Litigation, affirmative nature of duty to preserve

Posted by rjbiii on August 28, 2007

The obligation to retain discoverable materials is an affirmative one; it requires that the agency or corp. officers or having notice of discovery obligations communicate those obligations to employees in possession of discoverable materials. In re Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 2006 WL 3050864 (N. D. Cal. 2006) (quoting National Ass’n of Radiation Survivors, 115 F.R.D. at 557-58).

Posted in 9th Circuit, Case Blurbs, Duty to Preserve, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, N.D. Cal. | Leave a Comment »

Case Blurb: Napster C/R Litigation, Reasonable anticipation means any future litigation must be probable

Posted by rjbiii on August 28, 2007

[Any] future litigation must be “probable,” which has been held to mean “more than a possibility.” In re Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 2006 WL 3050864 (N. D. Cal. 2006) (citing Hynix Semiconductor Inc. v. Rambus, Inc., 2006 WL 565893 at *21 (N.D. Cal. 2006)).

Posted in 9th Circuit, Case Blurbs, Duty to Preserve, Judge Marilyn Hall Patel, N.D. Cal., Reasonable Anticipation of Litigation | Leave a Comment »