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computer forensics

Sit-Up Ltd. v. IAC/Interactive Corp., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 12017 (S.D.N.Y. Feb. 20, 2008).
Plaintiff requested an adverse inference sanction against Defendants after one Defendant failed to maintain its employees' email, however, this request was denied as the court found no evidence of negligence or bad faith.

Columbia Pictures, Inc. v. Bunnell, "Columbia Pictures II", 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 96360 (C.D. Cal. Dec. 13, 2007).
The court made a default judgment against Defendant, as the court found that they had purposely destroyed, altered, and withheld evidence and provided false testimony to hide evidence of the destruction.

PML North America, LLC v. ACG Enterprises of NC, "PML IV", 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87602 (E.D. Mich. Nov. 29, 2007).
Sanctions were ordered to be paid individually by the president of the company after the company became insolvent, as it was found that the company was the instrument of its president's litigation misconduct.

Ecor Solutions, Inc. v. State of New York, 2007 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 7840 (N.Y. Ct. Cl. Oct. 31, 2007).
An adverse inference sanction was not applied to Defendant, although Defendant had failed to place a litigation hold on document destruction. Plaintiff could not show that deleted documents were relevant or purposefully deleted by Defendant.

Benton v. Dlorah, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 80503 (D. Kan. Oct. 30, 2007).
Plaintiff was sanctioned $1,000 for deleting relevant email data from her home computer and she was also ordered to allow a forensic examination of this computer to occur so that the deleted email could be recovered.

Hawaiian Airlines, Inc. v. Mesa Air Group, Inc. (In re Hawaiian Airlines, Inc., Debtor), 2007 Bankr. LEXIS 3679 (Bankr. D. Haw. Oct. 30, 2007).
The airline's Executive Vice President and CFO used a wiping program on his company computers after being informed of a litigation hold. As the company had not made copies of the hard drives to preserve relevant data prior to these computer systems being wiped, the court issued adverse inference sanctions against them.

Lockheed Martin Corp. v. L-3 Communications Corp., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79572 (M.D. Fla. Oct. 25, 2007).
Sanctions against Plaintiff were not ordered, although an employee of Plaintiff revealed that he had deleted email. Defendant could not show that the deleted email was relevant or crucial to their claims.

APC Filtration, Inc. v. Becker, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 76221 (N.D. Ill. Oct. 12, 2007).
Defendant threw away his personal computer system in a dumpster on a construction site after receiving notice that a theft of trade secrets complaint had been made against him. The court issued sanctions, including deeming key allegations in Plaintiff's complaint conclusively proven, after finding that Defendant had acted in bad faith.

Hunts Point Realty Corp. v. Pacifico,, 2007 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 5700 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Jul. 24, 2007).
As Defendant failed to preserve email, Plaintiffs were awarded their attorney fees and costs.

Healthcare Advocates, Inc. v. Harding, Earley, Folmer & Frailey, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52544 (E.D. Pa. Jul. 20, 2007).
The court found that Defendant did not engage in spoliation of evidence by inadvertently failing to preserve copies of archived website images in their computer's temporary cache files.

Doe v. Norwalk Community College, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 51084 (D. Conn. Jul. 16, 2007).
After Defendant was informed that a sexual assault claim might be filed, they failed to halt the destruction of relevant electronic information. The court found that Defendant was not entitled to the Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(f) good faith exception to sanctions for routine destruction of data and held that Plaintiff was entitled to an adverse inference sanction regarding such data.

FMC Technologies, Inc. v. Edwards, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 42512 (W.D. Wash. June 12, 2007).
Plaintiff requested judgment as a sanction for spoliation the day before the trial was set to begin, however, the court did not grant this motion as Plaintiff's request was based on witness credibility that the court found could be evaluated by the jury.

Reino de Espana v. American Bureau of Shipping, "Reino de Espana IV", 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 41498 (S.D.N.Y. June 6, 2007).
The court found that Plaintiff did not act in bad faith, regardless of the fact that they were late in ceasing the destruction of email by government agencies, and Defendant's request for an adverse inference instruction was denied.

Doctor John's, Inc. v. City of Sioux City, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 36075 (N.D. Iowa May 17, 2007).
The court sanctioned Defendant in the amount of $50,000 for destroying tapes of closed door meetings, however, the court did not order the sanction due to the fact that Defendant altered its document retention policy to avoid a similar incident from occurring again.

Martinez v. General Motors Corporation, 2007 Mich. App. LEXIS 1279 (Mich. Ct. App. May 15, 2007).
The court did not impose spoliation sanctions on Defendant after a hard drive on a leased computer was erased when the lease ended. The court found that the data that was destroyed was not relevant to Plaintiff.

AJW Partners, LLC v. Peak Entertainment Holdings, Inc., 2007 N.Y. Misc. LEXIS 2702 (N.Y. Sup. Ct. Apr. 24, 2007).
The court held that an email confirmation that a delivery was made was sufficient notice for a delivery of a registered package and a hard copy signature card was not necessary.

Greyhound Lines, Inc. v. Wade, 2007 U.S. App. LEXIS 9282 (8th Cir. Apr. 24, 2007).
Defendant could not show that plaintiff intentionally suppressed the truth that they had destroyed electronic information by sending the electronic control module from a bus after an accident to the manufacturer where data from the module was erased and that plaintiff did not engage in spoliation by doing so.

Great Am. Ins. Cos. v. Subranni (In re Tri-State Armored Services, Inc.), 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 29794 (D.N.J. Apr. 23, 2007).
The court denied the trustee's claim for sanctions against plaintiff for failing to produce responsive emails residing on unused computers, which confirmed the bankruptcy court's ruling, as the trustee did not show that this spoliation harmed the interests of his case.

Teague v. Target Corp., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 25368 (W.D.N.C. Apr. 4, 2007).
The court gave an adverse jury instruction after plaintiff threw away her personal computer that contained information about the case, although she had retained counsel a year earlier.

University of Pittsburgh v. Townsend, "University of Pittsburgh II", 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 24620 (E.D. Tenn. Mar. 30, 2007).
Plaintiff's counsel destroyed email between counsel and its experts and advised experts to destroy their copies of the email and drafts of their reports. The court denied defendant's motion to exclude the expert's testimony because plaintiff's usual practice of advising experts to destroy drafts was not a product of fraudulent intent.

PML North America, LLC v. ACG Enterprises of NC, Inc., "PML II", 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 22394 (E.D. Mich. Mar. 28, 2007).
Defendant's spoliation of data resulted in plaintiff being awarded $134,373 in attorney fees and expert witness costs.

Netria Corp. v. Graham (In re Graham), 2007 Bankr. LEXIS 785 (D.N.H. Mar. 8, 2007).
Although defendant filed for bankruptcy, a sanction for spoliation was not discharged as a result of this filing.

School-Link Technologies, Inc. v. Applied Resources, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 14723 (D. Kan. Feb. 28, 2007).
Actual destruction of responsive documents had to be shown in order to support sanctions for spoliation.

Thompson v. Jiffy Lube Int'l, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 13078 (D. Kan. Feb. 22, 2007).
A default judgment was not granted based on the failure of plaintiff's counsel to have a backup of his computer, which crashed and resulted in a loss of information regarding four witnesses.

DeSantis v. Biehler, No. OCN-C-196-01 (N.J. Sup. Ct. Jan. 30, 2007).
The court did not impose spoliation sanctions on defendants, even though potentially relevant electronic information had been disposed of, based on defendant's testimony that this information was disposed of during their normal business practices and was not done to deliberately destroy evidence.

Anadarko Petroleum Corp. v. Davis, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93594 (S.D. Tex. Dec. 28, 2006).
The court did not impose spoliation sanctions on defendants after they deleted files because defendant had provided plaintiff with copies of these deleted files.

PML North America v. Hartford Underwriters Ins. Co., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 94456 (E.D. Mich. Dec. 20, 2006).
The court entered a default judgment against defendant after a computer forensic expert showed that a hard drive had been tampered with and a hard drive and thumb drive had been lost.

Optowave Co. v. Nikitin, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 81345 (M.D. Fla. Nov. 7, 2006).
The court gave an adverse inference jury instruction after defendant, who had a strong understanding of computer systems, allowed for hard drives to be reformatted and email to be destroyed.

Quintus Corp. v. Avaya, Inc. (In re Quintus Corp.), 2006 Bankr. LEXIS 2912 (Bankr. D. Del. Oct. 27, 2006).
Although the parties had a contractual obligation to maintain electronic records, the asset purchaser deliberately destroyed electronic records, resulting in the bankruptcy trustee obtaining a $1.88 million judgment as a spoliation sanction.

In re Napster, Inc. Copyright Litigation, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 79508 (N.D. Cal. Oct. 25, 2006).
The court gave an adverse inference jury instruction and issued preclusion and attorney fees after gross negligence with regards to deleting communications was found. However, the court also concluded that the deletions were not done willfully and that efforts to preserve the documents were taken, which is why a default judgment was not imposed.

Leon v. IDX Systems Corp., 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 23820 (9th Cir. Sept. 20, 2006).
Plaintiff willfully deleted over 2,000 files from his computer system, which was provided by his employer, and also wiped his hard drive, causing the court to affirm dismissal of plaintiff's complaint.

United Medical Supply Co., Inc. v. United States, 2006 U.S. Claims LEXIS 270 (U.S. Ct. Claims Sept. 8, 2006).
The court entered a document preservation order after it was identified that defendant had inadvertently destroyed documents.

Plasse v. Tyco Electronics Corp., 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 65463 (D. Mass. Sept. 7, 2006).
Plaintiff's complaint was dismissed after a computer forensics expert showed that plaintiff's resume, which made false claims, had been deleted from a floppy disk and that the system date on plaintiff's laptop was changed multiple times before production of the laptop for inspection by defendant's expert.

O'Brien v. Ed Donnelly Enterprises, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 66633 (S.D. Ohio Sept. 5, 2005).
The court denied plaintiff's motion for sanctions based on plaintiff's belief that defendant's electronic record keeping system was deficient. The court found that it was irrelevant with regards to the notion that defendants intentionally lost or destroyed relevant evidence after being notified of the lawsuit.

Arista Records L.L.C. v. Tschirhart, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 70332 (W.D. Tex. Aug. 23, 2006).
The court to imposed a default judgment against defendant due to their wiping of a hard drive after being notified of the lawsuit and being ordered to produce the hard drive for plaintiff's inspection.

Krumwiede v. Brighton Associates, "Krumwiede II", 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60654 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 9, 2006).
The court found that 200 hours of attorney time was not excessive in their attempt to obtain sanctions against the plaintiff, as the evidentiary hearing on the sanctions resulted in a bench trial and the defendants were granted a default judgment against the plaintiff.

Krumwiede v. Brighton Associates, "Krumwiede II", 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 60654 (N.D. Ill. Aug. 9, 2006).Paramount Pictures Corp. v. Davis, "Paramount II", 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 50955 (E.D. Pa. Jul. 26, 2006).
A spoliation inference was not negated due to a computer forensic expert's failure to zero out data through an expensive technique normally reserved for use in anti-terrorism efforts.

Austin v. City and County of Denver, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 47451 (D. Colo. Jul. 13, 2006).
In this employment discrimination suit, it was found that the plaintiff deleted information from her computer that demonstrated she was seeking re-employment. The court ordered the plaintiff to pay for re-opening her deposition, but did not levy additional sanctions against her for bad faith or willful conduct.

Oved & Associates Construction Services, Inc. v. Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority, 2006 Cal. App. Unpub. LEXIS 5358 (Cal. App. Jun. 22, 2006).
The appellate court confirmed the lower court's decision for default judgments against a party in the amount of $5.2 million after it was found that the party violated discovery orders by accessing documents on a computer hard drive, thus destroying their integrity.

Vela v. Wagner & Brown, Ltd., 2006 Tex. App. LEXIS 3088 (Ct. App. Tex. Jun. 21, 2006).
The appellate court found that the $75,000 in discovery sanctions determined by the trial court was justified as the trial court identified a general pattern of discovery abuse, that frivolous objections to discovery requests had been filed, and false testimony had been given.

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