Year in Review: Top Ediscovery Cases of 2015

Tuesday, December 8, 2015 by Thought Leadership Team


As another year wraps up, we look forward to the holidays and the promise of a new year. There is no better time to remember the highlights of ediscovery case law in 2015. Duty to preserve, emphasis on proportionality and reasonable form of production dominated this year’s ediscovery judicial opinions as courts prepared for the amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to take effect December 1, 2015.

Beyond the domination of preservation, proportionality and production, Kroll Ontrack’s analysis of 55 significant state and federal ediscovery opinions led to the classification of 5 major categories that arose most commonly in 2015 ediscovery case law. These significant cases are summarized in Kroll Ontrack’s guide, Top Ediscovery Cases of 2015. This guide includes the following topics and cases:

35 percent of opinions dealt with disputes over production and the methods used.

  • Webb v. Ethicon Endo-Surgery, 2015 WL 317215 (D. Minn. Jan. 26, 2015)
  • Wilson v. Conair Corp., 2015 WL 1994270 (E.D. Cal. Apr. 30, 2015)

20 percent of opinions focused on preservation and spoliation, including when the duty to preserve is triggered.

  • HM Electronics, Inc. v. R.F. Technologies, Inc., 2015 WL 4714908 (S.D. Cal. Aug. 7, 2015)
  • Fidelity Nat. Ins. Co. v. Captiva Lake Invs., 2015 WL 94560 (E.D. Mo. Jan. 7, 2015)
  • Kan-Di-Ki, LLC v. Suer, 2015 WL 4503210 (Del. Ch. July 22, 2015)

16 percent of opinions addressed cost considerations, such as cost shifting and taxation of costs.

  • Comprehensive Addiction Treatment Ctr. v. Leslea, 2015 WL 638198 (D. Co. Feb. 13, 2015)
  • Colosi v. Jones Lang LaSalle Americas, Inc., 2015 WL 1186765 (6th Cir. Mar. 17, 2015)
  • Hanwha Azdel, Inc. v. C&D Zodiac, Inc., 2015 WL 1417058 (W.D. Va. Mar. 27, 2015)

16 percent of opinions discussed procedural issues, such as search and predictive coding protocols, cooperation and privilege.

  • Rio Tinto PLC v. Vale S.A., 2015 WL 872294 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 2, 2015)

13 percent of opinions issued orders regarding sanctions for spoliation or failure to produce.

  • Parsi v. Daioleslam, 2015 WL 525146 (D.C. Cir. Feb. 10, 2015)