E-DISCOVERY: SANCTIONS FOR SPOLIATION OF E-MAILS

Generally, parties are expected to preserve all relevant documents as soon as litigation commences or even prior to that, if litigation is reasonably anticipated. This standard also applies to e-mails. When there is evidence of spoliation of e-mails after litigation has commenced or is anticipated, or after a preservation order has been issued by the court, sanctions may be imposed on the party that destroys the e-mails.

The following questions have been addressed in this article:

What elements must a party prove when seeking sanctions for spoliation?
What other courts have held about spoliation of e-mails?
What differentiates spoliation of e-mail from spoliation of other evidence?
What is the counsel’s role in ensuring preservation of e-mails for discovery?
In what cases sanctions for spoliation are not imposed?

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