Tom Appeals Blog

News and Observations About Law and Society

"As long as I have any choice, I will stay only in a country where political liberty, toleration, and equality of all citizens before the law are the rule." - Albert Einstein

Litigants' Duty to Preserve Paper and Electronic Documents

Posted: February 24, 2010 Filed under: Uncategorized

This ARTICLE from the American Bar Association discusses a recent OPINION by U.S. District Judge Schira Scheindlin, which addresses the well-recognized duty to preserve documents and the severe sanctions that may be imposed on parties to litigation – including plaintiffs – who fail to meet the duty. According to the ABA, “[t]he new decision imposes monetary penalties on 13 plaintiffs for negligence that allowed relevant electronic documents to be lost or destroyed. The decision also found that six of the plaintiffs were grossly negligent, meriting an ‘adverse inference’ instruction to jurors that says the missing documents should be presumed to have harmed the plaintiffs’ case.”

Admitted: Florida, Kansas, New Mexico (inactive)