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E-mail may be turned over in litigation with customer

In October 2001, the California Legislature passed amendments to the Code of Civil Procedure that affects the dealing with electronic discovery. Similarly, California state and federal courts have been issuing opinions regarding e-discovery practices and obligations. North American businesses sent 2.5 trillion e-mail messages last year, a number expected to grow to 3.25 trillion by the end of this year.

A provision of the e-discovery legislation permits the court to authorize use of technology in conducting and maintaining discovery. The court may enter orders allowing electronic methods for producing documents and for storing and accessing documents exchanged during litigation. The danger of relevant e-data being destroyed has arisen in some cases. In a recent case, a court imposed sanctions on the defendant in the form of attorney fees and costs for the defendant's failure to present a maintenance policy, log file or backup tapes that would track Web site modification and electronic document deletion procedures. When the evidence was produced, the court found that the defendant had tampered with and deleted evidence in order to evade personal jurisdiction.

Blakeley & Blakeley LLP - Trade Vendor Monthly News Flash - November 2002. This information is not intended to constitute legal advice, nor a substitute for legal advice. once again link Blakeley & Blakeley LLP.

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