Exterro and Judge Peck: Deleted Text Messages Lead to Sanctions

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Extract from Exterro and Judge Peck’s article “Deleted Text Messages Lead to Sanctions in Prince Music Case”

In this infringement case, centering around the deceased artist Prince and his unreleased music, the plaintiffs motioned for spoliation sanctions due to the deletion of text messages from two of the defendant’s key custodians.

At the outset the sides agreed on protocols for preserving data. In the midst of e-discovery, the plaintiffs received text messages between the defendants and the defendant’s PR firm. Based on the relevance of these text messages, the plaintiffs’ requested additional text messages from the defendants’ and their PR firm. The defendants could not produce the requested text messages because the phones in question were discarded and backups were not kept.

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