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Client Sanctioned with Attorney for Discovery Misconduct

Firm attorney Joseph W. Rogan shares insight regarding the importance of hiring attorneys knowledgeable about e-discovery and electronically stored information in regards to legal cases.

When some clients hear terms like “electronic evidence” and “eDiscovery,” they probably think of patent disputes and ultra-complex litigation. However, to determine if your case involves eDiscovery, you generally need only ask, “Have I sent an email or text message about the [contract, employee, opposing party, or other fact relevant to the dispute]?” If so, your case likely involves electronically stored information (ESI) and electronic discovery (eDiscovery).

Just two weeks ago, a federal judge highlighted the importance of hiring an attorney knowledgeable about eDiscovery and electronic evidence. U.S. Magistrate Judge Mitchell D. Dembin issued a 78-page order recommending sanctions against attorneys and their client for various discovery mistakes. Among those mistakes: failing “to supervise their ESI vendor.”

Many attorneys trust vendors to handle eDiscovery. However, with the wrong attorney or vendor, one can face harsh monetary penalties and “issue sanctions,” which may directly harm your case. As Judge Dembin explained, attorneys have a “duty to become actively engaged in the discovery process, to be knowledgeable about the source and extent of ESI, and to ensure that all gathered data is accounted for.”

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