It’s Hard to Smile this Halloween with So Many eDiscovery Horrors!

Today is Halloween! This is my thirteenth(!) year (third on this blog) to identify stories to try to “scare” you with tales of eDiscovery, data privacy and cybersecurity horrors because it is, after all, an eDiscovery blog.  Let’s see how I do this year. Even though it’s hard to Smile with so many eDiscovery horrors, I will leave you with something to smile about at the end!

Does this scare you?

What happens when you “drink and data”? You lose a USB memory stick containing the personal details of nearly half a million people!

What about this?

Illinois District Judge Iain D. Johnston began his order by stating: “If Dante were a judge, he would have placed fee litigation as an inner circle of judicial hell.” So, he awarded the plaintiffs $2.5 million in fees after significant sanctions were awarded (as discussed here and here).

Or this?

They deleted large amounts of data and accessed the FTSE 100 firm’s databases thanks to an easily found and weak password, Qwerty1234.


How about this?

Arizona District Judge David G. Campbell issued sanctions against the plaintiff, including: “an adverse inference jury instruction at trial based on (1) Plaintiff’s deletion of an unknown number of Facebook posts, (2) Plaintiff’s ‘unsending’ of the 11:57 message that conveyed a summary of her evidence, and (3) Plaintiff’s deletion of Telegram Messenger messages between her and Mudro”.

Or maybe this?

Did you know that if your organization suffered a data breach on February 1st of this year, you won’t have identified and contained the breach until two weeks from now – November 14th – 287 days later (on average).

Have you considered this?

Bia failed to produce at least 128 relevant messages that contained a search hit, including a smoking gun Slack exchange in which Defendants Greg Moeller and Michael Harradon discussed creating a new algorithm to hide the fact that the original algorithm was derived from the plaintiff’s intellectual property. No wonder the judge issued a default judgment sanction!

Finally, how about this?

We can’t even agree on how to spell an abbreviation for “electronic discovery”! One guy can’t even agree with his own book! 😉

Scary, huh?  If the possibility of default judgment sanctions for eDiscovery violations, millions of dollars in fines for eDiscovery mistakes, obvious passwords leading to data breaches, taking nearly an entire year to identify and contain data breaches or being unable to agree on how to spell the term that defines our very profession, then eDiscovery Today will do its best to provide useful information and best practices to enable you to relax and sleep soundly, even on Halloween!

So, Smile! Here is the trailer for a sweet romantic comedy to brighten your day!

What do you think?  Is there a particular eDiscovery issue that scares you?  Please share your comments and let us know if you’d like more information on a particular topic.

Happy Halloween!

Image Copyright © Paramount Pictures

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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