Magazine article Information Management

Judge Orders Prison Time for Spoliation

Magazine article Information Management

Judge Orders Prison Time for Spoliation

Article excerpt

[ILLUSTRATION OMITTED]

Recent trends reveal that individuals who engage in e-discovery misconduct are often slapped with large fines by judges. However, a judge in one recent case has upped the ante.

Calling it the "single most egregious" case of discovery violations he had seen in his almost 14 years on the bench, Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Paul Grimm recommended jail time for the defendant unless it pays the plaintiffs attorney fees and costs.

In the copyright case Victor Stanley v. Creative Pipe, Grimm found the defendants, Mark Pappas and his company, Creative Pipe, intentionally destroyed relevant electronic data. In fact, the defendants did not even try to follow spoliation rules: they destroyed e-mails, ran programs, such as "Disk Cleanups" to erase damning information, and even returned drives full of relevant information to OfficeMax.

Pappas admitted to the destruction. Grimm cited defendant Pappas for behaving so badly over many years and said sorting out all the lies and fraud for purposes of the case had consumed hundreds of hours for himself and his law clerk. …

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