California (ESI) Related Cases

Case Citation: Barton v. U.S. Dist. Court for Cent. Dist. of Cal., 410 F.3d 1104 (9th Cir. 2005)
Nature of Case: Users of antidepressant sued manufacturer of drug
Electronic Data Involved:  Law firm’s questionnaires regarding drug which were completed and submitted to the law firm on the internet
E-Discovery Issue: Ninth circuit granted writ of mandamus reversing district court’s order compelling plaintiffs to produce their answers to law firm’s internet questionnaire; although questionnaire disclaimed any formation of an attorney-client relationship, it did not disclaim confidentiality, and, under California law, prospective clients’ communications with a view to obtaining legal services were covered by the attorney-client privilege
Case Summary: Available
Attributes: Motion to Compel; Privilege
Case Citation: Costco Wholesale Corp. v. Superior Court, S163335 (Cal. Nov. 30, 2009)
Nature of Case: Class action employment litigation
Electronic Data Involved:  Opinion letter from counsel to Costco
E-Discovery Issue: Where, upon discovery referee’s in camera review and recommendation, trial court ordered plaintiff to produce heavily redacted opinion letter, despite plaintiff’s claim of privilege, California Supreme Court held: 1) that the letter from attorney to corporation was protected by attorney-client privilege in its entirety, including factual information, “because the privilege protects the transmission of information, if the communication is privileged, it does not become unprivileged simply because it contains material that could be discovered by some other means”; 2) that trial court erred by requiring in camera review of materials subject to a claim of privilege for the purpose of determining privilege in violation of Evidence Code section 915; and 3) that the appellate court erred in denying plaintiff relief based upon plaintiff’s failure to show prejudice resulting from the production of the heavily redacted letter, as was ordered by the trial court
Case Summary: Available
Attributes: Motion to Compel; Privilege
Case Citation: L.H. v. Schwarzenegger, 2008 WL 2073958 (E.D. Cal. May 14, 2008)
Nature of Case: Class action lawsuit regarding California’s treatment of juvenile wards and parolees
Electronic Data Involved:  Databases and other ESI
E-Discovery Issue: Where defendants converted ESI from their original format, which had been searchable and sortable, into PDF files which did not have these capabilities, court cited Advisory Committee Notes to the 2006 amendment to FRCP 34(a)(1)(A) and found that defendants violated Rule 34 by producing documents which were not searchable or sortable, notwithstanding that plaintiffs did not request the documents in native electronic format; court ruled on various other discovery disputes and awarded plaintiffs monetary sanctions in light of defendants’ “purposeful foot dragging on discovery” and resulting prejudice to plaintiffs
Case Summary: Not Available
Attributes: FRCP 34(b) Procedure or Format; Motion to Compel; Motion for Sanctions; Format of Production; Privilege; Lack of Cooperation / Inaccurate Representations
Case Citation: O’Grady v. Superior Court, 44 Cal.Rptr.3d 72 (Cal. Ct. App. 2006)
Nature of Case: Underlying suit involved misappropriation of trade secrets and related claims
Electronic Data Involved:  Email containing information regarding sources of trade secret information posted on internet
E-Discovery Issue: Internet publishers successfully petitioned California appellate court for writ of certiorari directing that subpoenas issued by Apple Computer, Inc. be quashed; trial court erred in denying motion for protective order because, among other reasons, subpoena to email service provider could not be enforced consistent with the plain terms of the federal Stored Communications Act
Case Summary: Available
Attributes: Motion for Protective Order; Third Party Discovery
Case Citation: People v. Vallejo, 2009 WL 3925232 (Cal. Ct. App. Nov. 19, 2009)(Unpublished)
Nature of Case: Grand theft from employer
Electronic Data Involved:  Report of defendant’s sales activities
E-Discovery Issue: Court found no abuse of discretion for admitting table summarizing defendant’s sales activities for the relevant time period where the corporate investigator of defendant’s suspected theft prior to his prosecution testified that the report was generated by a particular software in the ordinary course of business and where there was the “logical inference” based on certain facts that the report was prepared “at or near” the time of the events reported therein as is required by California Evid. Code section 1271 to authenticate a document as a business record
Case Summary: Not Available
Attributes: Admissibility
Case Citation: Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., 2008 WL 66932 (S.D. Cal. Jan. 7, 2008)
Nature of Case: Patent infringement litigation
Electronic Data Involved:  Email
E-Discovery Issue: Based on Qualcomm’s intentional failure to produce over 46,000 responsive emails and other discovery misconduct, court imposed monetary sanctions of $8,568,633 against Qualcomm (representing all of Broadcom’s attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in the litigation), ordered certain in-house and former outside counsel to participate in comprehensive “Case Review and Enforcement of Discovery Obligations” program to create a case management protocol which would serve as a model for future litigants, and referred investigation of possible ethical violations to California State Bar
Case Summary: Available
Attributes: Motion for Sanctions; Keyword Search; Lack of Cooperation / Inaccurate Representations