Another interesting collection of cases crossed my desk, recently. I'm going to refrain from writing about the "wake-up call" case because it's being cited everywhere. Besides, if anyone hasn't noticed yet, my entire blog is about that. Furthermore, we already know about my issues with waking up…
By coincidence, two of the cases involve mirror-images of disks; however, the issues in each are completely unrelated. Also, we have another illustration of how, when rules aren't followed to the letter, one can destroy a criminal case.
Am. Family Mut. Ins. Co. v. Gustafson, 2009 WL
641297 (D.Colo. Mar. 10, 2009)
YOU GOT IT, I TAKE IT – Plaintiff requested that the court set the protocol for the inspection of the mirror-image of Defendant's hard drive. The court obliged, and in doing so, provided what I think is an excellent guide for anyone undertaking this process.
Forest Laboratories, Inc. v. Caraco Pharm. Laboratories, Ltd., 2009 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31555 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 14, 2009)
ZUBULAKE – There's only one way to describe this case; Zubulake Duty applies, except when it doesn't…
I can't count how many times on this blog I've referred to how
exceptions to a rule may be more dangerous than the rule itself.
Forest illustrates that point. This falls under the "knew, or should
have known" category. The court is saying that if Plaintiff knew, or
should have known that ESI might be relevant to a dispute in the
future, they should have sought to preserve it – for key employee documents only – contrary to existing
company policy. A tall order. Talk about hindsight!
State v. Dingman, 2009 Wash. App. LEXIS 550 (Wash. Ct. App. Mar. 10, 2009)
This case also involves mirror-images of hard drives. It should serve as a cautionary tale to anyone on the prosecutorial side of the equasion.
The State seized Defendant's computers. Defendant wanted mirror-images of his computers' hard drives in a certain format and the State refused to provide them in that format. The court found this to be prejudicial to Defendant and a violation of his Constitutional rights. Defendant's conviction was overturned.
Still think the 4th, 5th & 6th Amendments don't apply to e-Discovery?