By Jason R. Cashio

In Apple Inc. v. Samsung, et al., the United States District Court for the Northern District of California reiterated the importance of preserving electronically stored information.  The court held that Samsung’s failure to disable its auto-delete function for employee e-mails demonstrated a conscious disregard for its obligation to preserve evidence.  The court sanctioned Samsung and held that Apple was entitled to an adverse inference instruction, albeit rebuttable, that the evidence lost was both relevant and favorable to plaintiff.  Most interesting was the court’s discussion of an employer’s duty to confirm that its employees comply with a legal hold issued in the face of litigation.  The court was critical of Samsung, and explained that Samsung, “in effect . . . kept the shredder on long after it should have known about this litigation, and simply trusted its custodial employees to save relevant evidence from it.”

For a review of the court’s order, see the order here.