Jail Time for Spoliation?




Jail Time for Spoliation?

By Sean T. Carnathan,
Litigation News Associate Editor
November 29, 2010

Serious spoliation can carry serious consequences, including the possibility of jail time for the culpable party. In a recent order, Magistrate Judge Paul W. Grimm, of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, provided an exhaustive review of what the court found to be a four-year campaign of spoliation of evidence in a case involving alleged violations of copyrights and patents, and unfair competition. Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc. The court also painstakingly detailed its various options when imposing sanctions.

Extreme Sanctions
As a result of the defendants’ spoliation of evidence, the court not only awarded the plaintiff a partial default judgment but also determined that the defendants’ willful acts of spoliation constituted civil contempt. These actions included the “permanent deletions of countless” pieces of electronically stored information by one of the individual defendants.

Read the rest of Attorney Carnathan’s article at the American Bar Association’s Litigation News section >>

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