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Databases in Discovery
By Craig Ball
Five years ago, I wrote The Luddite Litigator’s Guide to Databases in E-Discovery to accompany a lecture on the subject at the 2010 Georgetown Advanced E-Discovery Institute. When I went looking for source material for the article, I was struck by how little there was. Databases hold most of what we seek in discovery; yet, no one had written anything practical about discovering structured data. My Luddite Litigator’s Guide was a start but far from a comprehensive treatment, as it lacked the takeaway lawyers crave most: exemplar language and forms.
The curse of legal writing is that we are less prone to create than emulate. We borrow language from forms as though it were enchanted incantations. In fact, there are precious few magic words that must appear in pleadings and discovery requests, a point made often and expertly by Bryan Garner, whose thoughtful work I commend to you as a path to better legal writing.
Print Screen for Social Media Evidence: Not Defensible and Also Very Expensive
By John Patzakis
As we often note on this blog, courts continue to routinely find that the testimony of an individual who merely printed a copy of a social media webpage is insufficient to authenticate social media evidence. Notable recent cases with such rulings include Linscheid v. Natus Medical Inc., 2015 WL 1470122, at *5-6 (N.D. Ga. Mar. 30, 2015) (finding LinkedIn profile page not authenticated by declaration from individual who printed the page from the Internet); Monet v. Bank of America, N.A., 2015 WL 1775219, at *8 (Cal Ct. App. Apr. 16, 2015) (memorandum by an unnamed person about representations others made on Facebook is at least double hearsay” and not authenticated), and Moroccanoil vs. Marc Anthony Cosmetics, 57 F.Supp.3d 1203 (2014) (Facebook screenshots inadmissible in a trademark infringement without supporting circumstantial information).