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Uses of Electronic Evidence & Computer Forensics

Bro-Tech Corp. v. Thermax, Inc., 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 8970 (E.D. Pa. Feb. 7, 2008).
A party was ordered to purge specific documents from its electronic storage devices, however, after the party's expert testified that he had been instructed not to explore certain keyword matches during the purging process, the party was ordered to produce forensic images of their electronic storage devices.

United States v. Gaynor, 2008 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 9433 (D. Conn. Jan. 4, 2008).
The court found that a statute that prohibited Defendant from obtaining copies of child pornography that was to be used against him was constitutional. The court found that the child pornography should not be distributed, especially as the government made the evidence available to Defendant's expert by allowing the expert to review this information at the government's office on government computers.

United States v. Warshak, "Warshak III", 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 91741 (S.D. Ohio Dec. 13, 2007).
Although Defendant's employees had signed confidentiality agreements, these did not disallow Plaintiff from using information stored on company laptops that had been provided to Plaintiff by employees and former employees.

Bedwell v. Fish & Richardson P.C., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 88595 (S.D. Cal. Dec. 3, 2007).
Plaintiff was ordered to return her timesheets to Defendant as they possessed names of clients; Plaintiff was not ordered to return copies of email messages printed from Defendant's computer that contained communications with the Human Resources department and her managers.

H.H. v. Chesterfield County School Board, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 87682 (E.D. Va. Nov. 29, 2007).
The court found that Defendant's motion for summary judgment was premature as discovery had not ended and Plaintiff alleged that electronic documents had been destroyed.

Colorport, Inc. v. MicroBlend Techs., Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 75878 (D. Kan. Oct. 11, 2007).
The court issued an order protecting commercially sensitive information produced during discovery and restricted the use of electronic data and computer software to the particular litigation that was occurring.

Smith v. Cafe Asia, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 73071 (D.D.C. Oct. 2, 2007).
The court ordered Plaintiff to preserve images located on his cell phone and allow Defendant's counsel to view the images. The court denied any other form of discovery of the images pending a later ruling by the trial court on admissibility of the images.

Tauck v. Tauck, 2007 Conn. Super. LEXIS 2618 (Conn. Super. Ct. Sept. 21, 2007).
In this divorce case, the wife alleged that the husband's computer system possessed child pornography. After a computer forensic specialist examined the husband's computer systems, it was found that the child pornography was hidden on the computer and had either been placed there by the wife or someone acting on her behalf.

Kolerski v. United States, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59142 (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2007).
The court did not exclude Plaintiffs' experts' testimony, although Plaintiffs' failed to submit expert witness disclosures on time, as Plaintiffs had not received email notices of electronic filings for six months. Plaintiffs were ordered to pay Defendant $250 in sanctions, as they were aware of scheduling order deadlines and could have checked the court's docket through PACER.

Reinhard v. Dow Chemical Co, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 59242 (S.D.N.Y. Aug. 13, 2007).
This action was moved from New York to Michigan, as the hard drives at issue were located there and there was a strong likelihood that electronic discovery would be required.

United States v. Stein, " U.S. v. Stein II", 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 52053 (S.D.N.Y. Jul. 16, 2007).
The court dismissed the charges against Defendant after it was uncovered that the government had coerced Defendant's employer to cut off payment of their legal expenses, in effect leaving them unable to defend themselves or review the massive amount of electronic information.

Henry v. Quicken Loans, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 45623 (E.D. Mich. June 25, 2007).
The parties would not agree on a declaration to be signed by Plaintiff's computer forensics expert regarding the protection of Defendant's privileged information that the expert would view when reviewing Defendant's backup tapes; thus, the court provided a declaration for the expert to sign acknowledging that he was acting as the agent under the direction and control of defense counsel.

In re Yahoo, Inc., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 37601 (D. Ariz. May 22, 2007).
It was found that the U.S. District Court in Arizona could issue a search warrant to Yahoo, an Internet service provider in California, in order to obtain production of email account information.

Abbott v. Lockheed Martin Corp., 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19600 (S.D. Ill. Mar. 20, 2007).
The court did not order this federal action to be moved from Illinois to Maryland, even though key documents were stored in Maryland, as the documents could easily be scanned and sent to Illinois electronically.

Albertson v. Albertson, 2007 Va. Cir. LEXIS 132 (Va. Cir. Ct. Mar. 15, 2007).
The Virginia trial court held that under Virginia's Computer Trespass Law, Defendant and her computer forensics expert would be permitted to access password-protected information stored on Plaintiff's computers.

Cobb v. Dawson, 2007 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4632 (M.D. Ga. Jan. 22, 2007).
Defendants possessed the Event Data Recorder from Plaintiff's vehicle that was involved in a crash, however, they were given and additional 30 days of discovery once they located an expert who could extract the electronic information from the Event Data Recorder.

Matter of Ackermann v. Commissioner of Labor, 2006 N.Y. App. Div. LEXIS 9439 (N.Y. Sup. Ct., App. Div., Jul. 20, 2006).
It was identified, though screen shots showing that a software support specialist had logged on to supervisors' email accounts, that the software support specialist was not entitled to unemployment benefits.

United States v. Adjani, 2006 U.S. App. LEXIS 17264 (9th Cir. Jul. 11, 2006).
The court suppressed emails seized from the computer systems that belonged to a person living with the defendant, as specific search protocols for computer files needed to be followed, due to the ease with which files could easily be disguised or renamed, which could result in the loss of evidence of criminal activity simply due to labeling of files.

Flynn v. Oakland County, 2006 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 18748 (E.D. Mich. Apr. 12, 2006).
In responding to a discovery request in this civil rights matter, the defendant marked all investigation files and the plaintiff's file as "confidential". The court ordered the defendant to go through every page of its response and determine which pages actually contained confidential information, while reserving consideration sanctions against them.

Allyson Henry v. IAC/Interactive Group and Expedia Inc., No. C05-1510RSM (W.D. Wash. Feb. 14, 2006).
Plaintiff was ordered to provide defendant, her former employer, with three computer systems owned by defendant, in addition to over 90,000 documents plaintiff gave to her counsel both before and after filing the suit.

United States v. Councilman, 418 F.3d 67 (1st Cir. 2005).
Intercepting an email message that was stored electronically in a temporary manner was determined to be an indictable offense according to an en banc decision of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit under the Wiretap Act, as amended by the Electronic Communications Privacy Act of 1986.

Doe v. Gonzales, 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 19403 (D. Conn. Sept. 9, 2005).
The United States government was preliminarily enjoined from enforcing a statute that barred a library from revealing that the FBI had served them a National Security Letter in order to gather information regarding a specific patron's use of the library's computer system.

In re JetBlue Airways Corp. Privacy Litig., 2005 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16002 (E.D.N.Y. Aug. 1, 2005).
The court found that the airline company did not, under the Electronic Communications Privacy Act (ECPA), 18 U.S.C.S. 2701 et seq., become an "electronic communication service" simply because it sustained a website that transmitted electronic communications between the company and its clients.

Beyond Systems, Inc. v. Realtime Gaming Holding Co., LLC, 2005 Md. LEXIS 318 (Md. Ct. App. June 22, 2005).
Although defendants possessed a website devoted to gambling and sent unsolicited email to recipients in Maryland, Maryland jurisdiction could not be maintained.

Beck v. Shelton, 267 Va. 482 (Va. Sup. Ct. 2004).
The trial court determined that email messages between the mayor and other city officials could be considered a "public meeting" as defined in the Virginia Freedom of Information Act. However, the Virginia Supreme Court reversed the decision and determined that the email communications were more similar to traditional letters, as responses to the email messages were not received for more than four hours to over two days.

In re Estate of Steed, 2004 Tex. App. LEXIS 11349 (Tex. Ct. App. December 17, 2004).
The jury erred in determining that the waiver of decedent's computer-generated will had occurred.

Philip Morris USA, Inc. v. Otamedia, 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 16669 (S.D.N.Y. August 20, 2004).
Plaintiff was granted two domain names that were utilized by defendant due to plaintiff's computer forensic expert showcasing that defendant had presented false and untrustworthy sales data with regards to the sale of plaintiff's product on defendant's website.

Tempco Electric Heater Corp. v. Temperature Engineering Co., 2004 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 10124 (N.D. Ill. Jun. 3, 2004).
An inspection at the cost of $50 by an outside company of defendant's computer systems to confirm that plaintiff's program was not longer present on defendant's computer. This inspection was adequate to support partial summary judgment for defendant in this trademark infringement and breach of contract suit brought by plaintiff.

LeJeune v. Coin Acceptors, Inc., 2004 Md. LEXIS 251 (Md. May 13, 2004).
The court found that an employee misappropriated trade secrets by copying electronic information to a CD-ROM from the company-owned computer system

Pueblo of Laguna v. United States, 2004 U.S. Claims LEXIS 49 (Fed. Cir. Mar. 19, 2004).
The court set forth a preservation order to include electronic information, such as email, backup information, and information stored on removable media and hard drives.

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