The Electronic Discovery Blog of K & L Gates has an informative post on a recent electronic discovery decision out of the Northern District of Georgia. 

In the case the court found that deleted emails were not reasonably accessible and the defendant had no duty to search backup tapes for emails of a sexual nature.

Lessons from this decision:

  1. DIscovery requests for emails should be relevent, specific and limited by time, sender and recipient.
  2. Following a written document retention and destruction schedule can prevent spoilation sanctions.
  3. Plaintiffs should request company-wide email perservation and not rely solely on the fact litigation has commenced.  Requests should also include the names of individuals from whom you want the emails.
  4. If the costs of retrieving emails on backup tapes are too high, judges are reluctant to order production.

Read the entire decision here.