HM Electronics, Inc. v. R.F. Technologies, Inc. – ediscovery sanctions case

Timeline of HM Electronics v. RF Technologies

E-discovery quotes from Committee Opinion and HM Electronics:

“Not every litigated case involves e-discovery. Yet, in today’s technological world, almost every litigation matter potentially does.”— Formal Opinion No. 2015-193 of the Standing Committee On Professional Responsibility and Conduct of the California State Bar

“Federal courts do not require perfection in ESI discovery.” HM Electronics at 27, citing The Pension Comm. Of the Univ. of Montreal Pension Plan v. Banc of Am. Securities, LLC, 685 F.Supp.2d 456, 461 (S.D.N.Y.).

“Perfection in preserving all relevant electronically stored information is often impossible,” and “‘[t]his rule recognizes that reasonable steps’ to preserve suffice; it does not call for perfection.”).  Advisory Committee Notes to proposed new Rule 37(e)

“The touchstone of discovery of ESI is reasonableness. (Id.). However, as one court noted, If litigants are to have any faith in the discovery process, they must know that parties cannot fail to produce highly relevant documents within their possession with impunity. Parties cannot be permitted to jeopardize the integrity of the discovery process by engaging in halfhearted and ineffective efforts to identify and produce relevant documents. Bratka v. Anheuser-Busch Co., Inc., 164 F.R.D. 448, 463 (S.D. Ohio 1995). “Litigation is not a game. It is the time-honored method of seeking the truth, finding the truth, and doing justice.” Haeger v. Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co., –F.3d–, 6 n.1 (9th Cir. July 20, 2015) (quoting Haeger v. Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co., 906 F.Supp.2d 938, 941 (D. Ariz. 2012)).

Resources:

Annotated opinion and docket sheet (download the PDF and view bookmarks to see my annotations): Annotated HM Electronics Inc v RF Technologies Inc – magistrate judge order on sanctions (2015 WL 4714908,  S.D. Cal. No. 12cv2884–BAS–MDD)

Docket sheet from Pacer, downloaded November 12, 2015: 2015-11-12 HM electronics docket sheet

Northern District of California E-Discovery Guidelines