March 2014

"Discovery Sanctions Related to Technology Can Fell David or Goliath"

by Laura Ewing-Pearle, CEDS*
Assistant Director - Client Services

In an era of increased confusion over preservation and production of electronically stored information (ESI), court sanctions are increasingly common. Both monetary sanctions and adverse inference instructions are frequently levied as parties grapple with predictive coding, social media, and "plain old-fashioned" emails and edocs.

The decision by the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals last November in Steve Moore et al v CITGO Refining seems a positive step for both reducing the time and costs of eDiscovery battles (and reducing potentially frivolous claims) if both parties understand their obligations. In this matter, plaintiffs were sanctioned for willfully violating discovery orders. Not only did these plaintiffs delete emails "in direct contradiction" of a court order, they destroyed that evidence after their co-plaintiffs had been dismissed from the complaint for similar conduct. Although the district court reduced CITGO's award of taxable costs from approximately $53,000 to $5,000, based on defendant's "enormous wealth" and plaintiffs' "limited resources", the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed and rendered the award of costs to CITGO while affirming the circuit court's summary judgment...

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*Laura Ewing-Pearle earned the Certified E-Discovery Specialist (CEDS) designation in August 2013. The CEDS credential is awarded to individuals who demonstrate mastery of the topic of eDiscovery by passing a rigorous exam administered by the Association of Certified E–Discovery Specialists (ACEDS), the premier membership organization for eDiscovery professionals worldwide. Laura is accredited to provide CLEs in six states. She frequently speaks on technology & the law, and has managed eDiscovery projects for corporate clients, law firms, and vendors.

XERA Silver Award

Cobra Earns Silver Partner Award from iCONECT

Cobra has been honored by iCONECT with the Silver Partner Award for its "outstanding contribution to excellence in litigation support." The award recognizes Cobra's accomplishments in 2013, as well as the company's ultimate commitment to quality and customer focus - past, present, and future. As Iram Arras, VP of Product Strategy at iCONECT explains, Cobra's approach "demonstrates how organizations can take the eDiscovery experience to a new level, with the customer as the ultimate benefactor".

Click here to visit iCONECT's website

Cobra Sponsors The Sedona Conference Program on eDiscovery

Cobra was proud to sponsor and attend The 8th Annual Sedona Conference Institute Program on eDiscovery (Houston, March 13-14). Frequently quoted by federal judges, The Sedona Conference has become the standard bearer for proportionality and fairness in eDiscovery. Founded in 1997, this unique non-profit organization continues to be an invaluable resource for eDiscovery professionals and participants.

At this year's Program on eDiscovery, a distinguished faculty of judges, lawyers and eDiscovery professionals examined "eDiscovery in a New Era: New Technologies, New Media, New Rules", and led panels on technology assisted review (TAR), social media, the new proposed rules of civil procedure, and more. The Judicial Faculty included:

  • Chief Justice Nathan Hecht - Chief Justice - Texas Supreme Court
  • Magistrate Judge Andrew Peck - U.S. District Court - Southern District of New York
  • District Judge Lee Rosenthal - U.S. District Court - Southern District of Texas
  • District Judge Xavier Rodriguez - U.S. District Court - Western District of Texas
Candice Hunter Corby

Cobra CEO Shares Insights, Industry Knowledge with MBA Students

Cobra's President and CEO, Candice Hunter Corby, has been racking up frequent flyer miles, visiting clients and prospects and speaking at conferences and meetings around the country. This month, Candice relished the opportunity to present closer to home when she addressed students in the Executive MBA program at University of Texas, Austin. As part of the panel discussion "Championing Women in the Workplace", Candice drew on her experience helming an international company, owning a small business, and managing several international law firms. The panel discussion, which also included Berry Crowley, Tom Meredith, and Cash Nickerson, received positive feedback from students, faculty and staff alike.

Follow Candice on Twitter at @corby_candice.