The new decade has begun with conflicting and complementary opinions from Judge Rosenthal of Texas and Judge Scheindlin of New York. These opinions, penned by United States District Court judges, will frame the behavior and motion practice around federal e-discovery sanctions into the near future.
Before the ink was dry on Judge Scheindlin’s groundbreaking “no written legal hold = gross negligence” opinion in The Pension Committee of the University of Montreal Pension Plan, et al. v. Banc of America Securities, et al., 2010 WL 184312 (S.D.N.Y. Jan. 15, 2010) (Amended Order), subtitled “Zubulake Revisited: Six Years Later,” Judge Rosenthal, in Rimkus v. Cammarata, 07-cv-00405 (S.D. Tex. Feb. 19, 2010) drew careful lines around the court’s inherent power to sanction, even in the face of bad faith, and introduced the concept of preservation proportionality. Both opinions are available at the end of this article.