Court holds that overlooking e-discovery information due to honest mistake may serve to avoid court-imposed sanctions

From IBLS.com (Internet Business Law Services):

In the case of R & R Sails, Inc. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, Case No. 07-cv-0998-H (POR) (S.D.Cal., Apr. 18, 2008), the court held that overlooking e-discovery information due to honest mistake may serve to avoid court-imposed sanctions. Though, the court found proper to impose sanctions upon the party claiming to have omitted production due to honest mistake when a reasonable inquiry into the nature of the requested material might have prevented the mistake from occurring.

In R & R Sails, Inc. v. Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania, Case No. 07-cv-0998-H (POR) (S.D.Cal., Apr. 18, 2008) (R&R Sails), plaintiff requested several documents from defendant in the course of litigation. Plaintiff defined “document” as including every other means of recording any tangible thing and form of communication or representation, including letters, words, pictures, sounds, or symbols or combinations thereof.

Upon plaintiff’s notification that electronic and handwritten daily activity records were missing from defendant’s response, defendant explained that it did not maintain daily logs or telephone records. Subsequently, the defendant realized that the requested records existed in an AEGIS computerized database and sent the electronic notes to plaintiff, conceding that his previous declaration was incorrect and was an honest mistake, and that a claim log was maintained electronically.

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