A Magistrate Judge in a New York federal court recently had words of caution for social media-loving litigants and the lawyers who want to read their posts. In a decision refusing to penalize a plaintiff for supposedly deleting posts on her Facebook account, the Magistrate Judge in Thurmond v. Bowman, pending in the Western District of New York, discussed the relevance of social media accounts to claims for emotional distress and cautioned the plaintiff not to change her privacy settings.
Once upon a time, the production of information in civil litigation primarily consisted of the exchange of hard-copy, paper records. Those days are long gone.
We now are in the electronic age, and productions feature all sorts of electronic data. It is important to get it right when it comes to eDiscovery, as the downside consequences for getting it wrong can be severe.
Electronic discovery can be time-consuming, burdensome and expensive. Indeed, at times, e-discovery can be the tail that wags the litigation dog.
As a consequence, Chief Judge Randall Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, on behalf of an E-Discovery Committee, recently introduced a Model Order for Patent E-Discovery.
The Committee’s discussion underpinning the Model Order notes that federal district courts have inherent power to control their dockets in the interests of time and economy. Accordingly, it is the Committee’s view that the Model Order may be a “helpful starting point for district courts to use in requiring the responsible, targeted use of e-discovery in patent cases.”