Tagged: Case Summaries

Somebody’s Watching You — New York Court of Appeals Says State Can Place GPS Device on Employee’s Car, But Can Only Collect Data During Work Hours 0

Somebody’s Watching You — New York Court of Appeals Says State Can Place GPS Device on Employee’s Car, But Can Only Collect Data During Work Hours

In its recent 4-3 decision in Cunningham v. New York State Department of Labor, the New York Court of Appeals added to the growing body of case law addressing the constitutional implications of global positioning system (GPS) technology. In Cunningham, the Court found that the Department of Labor’s attaching of a GPS device to an employee’s personal car that was used for work purposes fell within the “workplace exception” to the warrant requirement, however, the search as conducted was unreasonable because the car’s location was tracked in the evenings, on weekends, and while the employee was on vacation. Interestingly, the Court suppressed all of the evidence collected by the GPS device, not just the data collected during non-work hours, citing the “extraordinary capacity” of GPS devices to permit “constant, relentless tracking of anything.”

Court Denies Direct Access to Computer, Phones, and Email Account Absent a Finding of Improper Conduct or Non-Compliance With Discovery Rules 0

Court Denies Direct Access to Computer, Phones, and Email Account Absent a Finding of Improper Conduct or Non-Compliance With Discovery Rules

In a recent decision in Carolina Bedding Direct, LLC v. Downen, United States Magistrate Judge Monte C. Richardson shed light on the limitations placed on discovery by Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26 and the circumstances under which a requesting party will be denied wholesale access to a responding party’s computer, cell phone, and email account. The decision also reinforces that courts are unlikely to question a responding party’s certification of compliance with discovery requests absent a real showing of improper conduct, even if it is shown that the responding party failed to produce its own email and text messages that were later produced by another party.

Show Your Work: Google Ordered to Produce Search Terms and Custodians Used When Responding to Apple’s Subpoena 0

Show Your Work: Google Ordered to Produce Search Terms and Custodians Used When Responding to Apple’s Subpoena

In a recent order in Apple Inc. v. Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd., et al., United States Magistrate Judge Paul S. Grewal reinforced the importance of cooperation and transparency in the discovery process, especially when it involves electronically stored information. The order granted Apple’s motion to compel Google, a non-party, to produce the search terms and list of custodians Google used when responding to Apple’s subpoena. Judge Grewal’s order is significant because it underscores that a responding party, whether or not a party to the litigation, should be prepared to disclose the methodology it used to identify and collect electronically stored information in response to a discovery request.

“Persnickety, Persistent” Questions: The Stored Communications Act 0

“Persnickety, Persistent” Questions: The Stored Communications Act

The Stored Communications Act (“SCA”) prohibits internet service providers from disclosing the “content” of electronic communications. What constitutes “content” of an electronic communication? It may be easier to rephrase the question: What doesn’t constitute content? According to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California, the answer is: very little.

“Trust me, I know what I’m doing!” – Court Outlines Perils of Custodian Self-Collection and Inadequate Keyword Searches 0

“Trust me, I know what I’m doing!” – Court Outlines Perils of Custodian Self-Collection and Inadequate Keyword Searches

In a recent ruling, United States Southern District Judge and e-discovery authority Shira Scheindlin, of Zubulake and Pension Committee fame, held that various government agencies had failed to adequately design searches for responsive electronically-stored information. While the case, National Day Laborer Org. Network et al. v. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency, et al., 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 97863 (S.D.N.Y. July 13, 2012), deals largely with searches in the context of the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”), Judge Scheindlin noted “much of the logic behind . . . e-discovery searches is instructive in the FOIA search context because it educates litigants and the courts about the types of searches that are or are not likely to uncover all responsive documents.”

New Jersey District Judge Upholds Sanctions for Camden County’s Grossly Negligent Litigation Hold Procedures 0

New Jersey District Judge Upholds Sanctions for Camden County’s Grossly Negligent Litigation Hold Procedures

On March 21, 2012, New Jersey District Judge Noel Hillman upheld Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Donio’s ruling against Camden County, New Jersey (the “County”) for spoliation of evidence in an insurance dispute arising out of injuries to a motorist on a county road. State National Insurance Co. v. County of Camden, 08-cv-5128 (D.N.J. March 21, 2012). Judge Hillman’s March 21, 2012, decision addresses the County’s appeal of a June 30, 2011, decision of Judge Donio granting State National Insurance Company’s (“State National”) motion regarding the County’s failure to preserve electronically stored information (“ESI”). Specifically, the County failed to institute a litigation hold, to disable its automatic email deletion program, and to preserve copies of its backup tapes after litigation was commenced.

Judge Peck Stays Defendant’s ESI Production in da Silva Moore Pending Resolution of Several Motions 0

Judge Peck Stays Defendant’s ESI Production in da Silva Moore Pending Resolution of Several Motions

If you’ve been following this blog, then you know that the Monique da Silva Moore, et al. v. Publicis Groupe SA and MSL Group case, in which Magistrate Judge Peck authored the first opinion approving the use of predictive coding, is very contentious. You can read our latest entries discussing this controversial case from March 2 and May 16. It appears there is no sign the tension will abate anytime soon.

Predictive Coding Upheld by District Court: Judge Carter Endorses Judge Peck’s Approval of Computer-Assisted ESI Review 0

Predictive Coding Upheld by District Court: Judge Carter Endorses Judge Peck’s Approval of Computer-Assisted ESI Review

On March 2, 2012, we reported on Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck’s February 24, 2012 decision in Monique Da Silva Moore, et al., v. Publicis Groupe & MSL Group, Civ. No. 11-1279 (ALC)(AJP) (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 24, 2012), wherein Judge Peck issued the first judicial opinion approving the use of predictive coding “in appropriate cases.” On April 25, 2012, District Judge Andrew L. Carter, Jr. rejected plaintiffs’ bid to overturn that decision, and cleared the way for the use of computer-assisted ESI review in this case and others.

Who’s Paying For This? First Department Requires the Producing Party to Initially Bear the Costs of Production in U.S. Bank N.A. v. GreenPoint Mtge. Funding, Inc. 0

Who’s Paying For This? First Department Requires the Producing Party to Initially Bear the Costs of Production in U.S. Bank N.A. v. GreenPoint Mtge. Funding, Inc.

For the second time this year, New York’s First Department, Appellate Division, has adopted e-discovery standards articulated in Zubulake v. UBS Warburg LLC, 220 FRD 212 (S.D.N.Y. 2003). On January 31, 2012, the First Department’s decision in Voom H.D. Holdings LLC v. EchoStar Satellite LLC, 2012 N.Y. Slip Op. 00658 (1st Dep’t 2012) adopted the Zubulake standard concerning when a party’s preservation obligations are triggered. Read a blog posting on the Voom decision here. Most recently, on February 28, 2012 the First Department held in U.S. Bank N.A. v. GreenPoint Mtge. Funding, Inc., 2012 NY Slip Op. 01515 (1st Dep’t 2012), that, consistent with Voom’s “adopt[ion] [of] the standards articulated by [Zubulake] in the context of preservation and spoliation, [it was] persuaded that Zubulake should be the rule in this department, requiring the producing party to bear the cost of production to be modified by the IAS court in the exercise of its discretion on a proper motion by the producing party.”

Taking the Plunge: Judge Peck Issues First Decision Endorsing Computer-Assisted ESI 0

Taking the Plunge: Judge Peck Issues First Decision Endorsing Computer-Assisted ESI

Late last year, Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, one of the most prominent judicial thought leaders in e-discovery, wrote an article entitled Search, Forward in which he opined that computer-assisted ESI review “should be used where it will help ‘secure the just, speedy and inexpensive’ (Fed. R. Civ. P. 1) determination of cases”, but he forecast that lawyers awaiting a judicial opinion endorsing predictive coding might have “a long wait.” As it turns out, the wait wasn’t very long at all; on Friday, February 24, 2012, less than 6 months after the publication of his article, Judge Peck himself issued the first judicial opinion approving the use of predictive coding “in appropriate cases.”