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Because You Need to Know: 2019 Year-in-Review, Part 2

A multi-part series reviewing news stories and noteworthy new cases from across 2019

In the first Part, we reviewed selected industry news stories and useful new publications from 2019.  In this Part, we discuss selected social media and mobile devices cases from 2019.


Throughout the year, XDD rounds up industry news stories, noteworthy cases, and more in monthly “Because You Need to Know” posts.  In this series, we are reviewing some of the biggest developments and most interesting cases from across 2019.  In this Part, we discuss selected social media and mobile devices cases from 2019.  If you prefer to listen rather than to read, we also recently offered a free, one-hour educational webinar reviewing this material.  A recording of that program is available here.

Social Media Cases

  • In re the Paternity of B.J.M., 925 N.W.2d 580 (WI App Feb. 20, 2019) – In this Wisconsin state case, the appellate court reversed and remanded the matter to proceed under a new judge, after the trial court judge’s acceptance of a Facebook friend request from a litigant was determined to have “created a great risk of actual bias, resulting in the appearance of partiality.”
  • Calendar Research, LLC v. Stubhub, Inc., et al., No. CV 17-4062 SVW (SSx) (C.D. Cal. Mar. 14, 2019) – In this federal case, a party encountered significant technical challenges in collecting, reviewing, and producing Slack messages, including: an inability to obtain exports without upgrading from a free to a premium account, Slack’s unwillingness to provide a comprehensive export without consent of all users, and the need to identify and separate privileged communications. These challenges resulted in significant discovery delays and led to the court partially-granting a motion to compel.
  • Leon D. Milbeck v. Truecar, Inc., et al., No. CV 18-02612-SVW (AGRx) (C.D. Cal. May 2, 2019) – In this federal case, which had a “compressed discovery and trial schedule,” one party moved to compel production of relevant Slack messages. The other party opposed this motion with a detailed declaration of likely time, cost, and volume from their service provider, showing that production prior to trial would likely be impossible.  Based on this, the court denied the motion to compel production, but it left open the option of seeking a continuance of the trial if the requesting party would rather wait for the Slack production.

Mobile Devices Cases

  • Schnatter v. Papa John’s Intern’l Inc., No. 2018-0542-AGB (Del. Ct. Chan. Jan. 15, 2019) – In this Delaware state case, the court concluded that in certain roles (e.g., general counsel, board members) an individual’s legal or fiduciary duty to a company could make their relevant personal device communications discoverable: “if the custodians identified here . . . used personal accounts and devices to communicate about changing the Company’s relationship with Schnatter, they should expect to provide that information to the Company” [emphasis added]

Upcoming in this Series

In the next Part, we will continue our review of 2019 highlights with a discussion of selected ESI spoliation sanctions cases.


About the Author

Matthew Verga

Director of Education

Matthew Verga is an electronic discovery expert proficient at leveraging his legal experience as an attorney, his technical knowledge as a practitioner, and his skills as a communicator to make complex eDiscovery topics accessible to diverse audiences. A thirteen-year industry veteran, Matthew has worked across every phase of the EDRM and at every level from the project trenches to enterprise program design. He leverages this background to produce engaging educational content to empower practitioners at all levels with knowledge they can use to improve their projects, their careers, and their organizations.

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