- Big Data and Ediscovery
- Top Ediscovery Trends of 2013
- Modus and Flat-fee pricing
- Email no longer top ediscovery priority
- How Clearwell and Symantec could benefit each other
- Sony and Geohot
- LegalTech New York 2011 Recap
- Litigation Support Software Options
- Free Ediscovery Course Online
- Ediscovery Jobs coming in 2011
- Digital Copiers as an Ediscovery Source
- Eighth Circuit Court Skips Opportunity to Enforce Legal Holds
Eighth Circuit Court Skips Opportunity to Enforce Legal Holds
Just ran across this case which took place earlier this year. The Eighth Circuit court declined to enforce sanctions against the City of St. Paul for failure to enforce a legal hold. If you read further, you’ll discover that one reason the court did not act on this is that plaintiff’s counsel did not properly brief the court on this issue, and did not show any evidence that defendants acted in bad faith.
In short, the district court (first the magistrate judge and as affirmed by the district court judge) held that spoliation sanctions for the failure to implement a litigation hold were not warranted. The Eighth Circuit affirmed using an abuse of discretion standard of review. In other words, did the lower court’s opinion deviate from applicable law in an arbitrary or unreasonable way. The Eighth Circuit held that the record failed to establish prejudice to the plaintiffs or an intentional destruction of evidence or withholding of evidence in an attempt to suppress the truth. For anyone keeping score on litigation hold decisions, this is very helpful to an organization that accidentally loses or destroys electronically stored evidence – with or without a legal hold in place.