Doug Austin, eDiscovery Today: Court Grants Several Significant Sanctions for Defendants’ Discovery Failures, Part Two

Extract from Doug Austin’s article “Court Grants Several Significant Sanctions for Defendants’ Discovery Failures, Part Two”

In DR Distribs. v. 21 Century Smoking, No. 12 CV 50324 (N.D. Ill. Jan. 19, 2021), Illinois District Judge Iain D. Johnston, in a ruling so long it needed a table of contents (104 pages printed out in PDF form), assessed several significant sanctions to the defendants for their discovery failures, but did not grant the “nuclear option[s]” sanctions requested by the plaintiffs to default the defendants and dismiss their counterclaims.

Yesterday, I covered some of the discovery failures of the defendants (and their former counsel) associated with this case.  Today, I’ll cover the sanctions against them for those failures.

Actually, Judge Johnston made that part relatively easy (if not lengthy), as he identified the sanctions imposed within the Introduction section as follows:

“In the exercise of its discretion—to the extent certain rules allow for discretion—the Court imposes the following sanctions to cure the harm Defendants and the former defense counsel have inflicted on Plaintiff:

  • At their own expense, within 30 days of this order, Defendants must conduct a reasonable search for all responsive ESI and produce the responsive material to Plaintiff, which Plaintiff can use if it chooses. Fed. R. Civ. P. 37.

Read more here

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