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New Amendment to Federal Rule Implicates eDiscovery Collection

Rule 902 of the Federal Rules of Evidence is being amended on December 1, 2017 to add two new provisions that impact the authentication of electronic evidence.

Unanimous Supreme Court Scolds Lower Court Over Appellate Deadline Rule

In a unanimous decision, the U.S. Supreme Court ruled today that a federal procedural rule that allows a district court to extend an appeal deadline by no more than 30 days is a non-jurisdictional, mandatory claims processing rule. While this is a generally inconsequential decision when it comes to workplace law, it is a decision about which every litigant and participant in the judicial system should be aware, as it could impact litigation options and strategy. While this decision might potentially lead to a slight uptick in extension requests from pro se plaintiffs and overall delays in commencing appeals, it may also have a marginal impact on appellate litigation (Hamer v. Neighborhood Housing Services of Chicago, et al).

How to Know Which Jurisdiction's Employment Laws Reach Border-Crossing Staff: A Comprehensive Guide to International Choice-of-Employment-Law and -Forum

For the vast majority of employment relationships around the world, choice-of-law analysis is a non-issue that we rarely ever think about. Obviously (for example), a Paris-resident baker working locally for a French bakery is protected only by French employment law. A Buenos Aires-resident banker working locally for an Argentine bank is protected only by Argentine employment law. And so on. Choice-of-law (also so-called “conflict of laws”) analysis in plain-vanilla domestic employment scenarios is so simple, so intuitive and so uncontroversial that it almost never comes up.

Tenth Circuit Significantly Narrows Scope of Injunction Cases Where Irreparable Harm is Presumed

On October 30, 2017, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit held that a moving party is not excused from showing irreparable harm prior to the issuance of a preliminary injunction in a trade secret misappropriation case. First Western Capital Management Co. v. Malamed, Case Nos. 16-1434, 16-1465 & 16-1502 (10th Cir. Oct. 30, 2017). The Tenth Circuit reversed a trial court’s decision that issued an injunction without a showing of irreparable harm, which was presumed based on a statutory violation. Departing from prior Tenth Circuit precedent, the court found that the only circumstance where a trial court can excuse the moving party from demonstrating irreparable harm is where the statute calls for mandatory, not permissive, injunctive relief. As a practical result, employers within the Tenth Circuit's jurisdiction must now prove that monetary relief is insufficient, and that only an injunction can provide adequate protection.1

New Mexico Court Rules Employee Is Entitled To Nationwide Discovery in FMLA Case

On October 10, 2017, Judge Ritter issued the Memorandum Opinion and Order which granted a former employee’s Motion to Compel and held that the former employee was entitled to information from the company’s nationwide offices relating to other employees fired under the company’s 100% healed policy and other FMLA or ADA complaints.

Recusal: Use it or Lose it

Attorneys and their clients must make strategic decisions during litigation whether to take certain actions that are available to them. Should you move for dismissal or answer the complaint? Should you seek more specific answers to written discovery, or just save your questions for a deposition? These are common questions that do not necessarily have a “right” answer.

Rule 68 Offers of Judgment

If there is any occasion in civil litigation that calls for caution by counsel, it is the drafting of a Rule 68 offer of judgment, so warns the Fourth Circuit. Consistent with the general rule of contract construction, responsibility for clarity and precision in a Rule 68 offer is that of the offeror. That concept, along with a few twists and turns unique to a SCUTPA claim, was recently visited by our District Court in Bradley Johnson, as a general guardian, for and on behalf of S.J., a minor and individually on behalf of S.J. v. Hyatt Hotels Corporation, et al, 2017 WL 4473469 (October 6, 2017).

The Significance of Expert Testimony

Expert testimony can play a significant role in shaping the outcome of cases that go to trial. For example, in a case lacking witnesses or evidence that could directly support or undercut the plaintiff’s accusations of severe sexual misconduct, what stood out most was the expert testimony.

Court Holds That Self-Selection Of Emails By Employee Satisfies Discovery Obligations

In Mirmina v. Genpact, LLC, Civil Action No. 3:16-CV-00614 (D. Conn. July 27, 2017), a federal court in an employment discrimination matter denied the plaintiff’s motion to compel discovery, finding that the defendant’s reliance on an employee involved in the litigation to self-select relevant documents was appropriate under the circumstances

Lack Of Prejudice Precludes Sanctions Following Automatic Deletion Of Emails

Magistrate Judge Iain D. Johnston recently held that sanctions were not warranted under Fed. R. Civ. P. 37(e) against a defendant who admitted to erroneously destroying electronically stored information (ESI). While the court did not condone the defendant’s actions (describing them as “disturbing”), it reasoned that the ESI “did not appear to be relevant” and therefore did not prejudice the plaintiff.