Robert Brownstone, Law & Technology Director at Fenwick & West, was recently quoted in a National Law Journal article titled "Oracle Case e-Discovery Fight Heats Up."
The dispute over alleged spoliation of evidence and the potential for sanctions over electronic discovery relates to a securities class action facing the software giant. "The discovery battle raises the issue of whether a party to a suit has an obligation to alert nonparties to save evidence," said Brownstone, of Mountain View, Calif.-based Fenwick.
For third parties, the new Federal electronic discovery rules that took effect on Dec. 1, 2006, do not have as strict a standard. "Companies are not obligated to scour the globe for third parties," he said. The new amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure make clear that electronic data is subject to discovery if they are relevant and not too burdensome to produce.
"That is a hot issue waiting for courts to start ruling," stated Brownstone. There is also speculation that some court will have to decide how broad a hold on potentially relevant material a company can issue at the outset of litigation, according to Brownstone.