Measured Wealth Private Client Group, LLC, a New Hampshire LLC v. Lee Anne Foster » The Florida E-Discovery Case Law Database » Levin College of Law » University of Florida

Measured Wealth Private Client Group, LLC, a New Hampshire LLC v. Lee Anne Foster

Measured Wealth Private Client Group, LLC, a New Hampshire LLC v. Lee Anne Foster

Case Date: 03/31/2021
Citation: 2021 WL 1215218 (S.D. Fla. 2021)
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Southern District of Florida (S.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal Magistrate Judge: Honorable Raag Singhal
Rule(s): Federal Rule Civil Procedure 26(b)(1)
Issues:

The discovery issue currently before the Court is whether Plaintiff should be permitted to conduct a forensic examination of Defendant’s cell phone (from the period of January 1, 2019 to December 21, 2019) to recover certain text messages and iMessages or whether such production is beyond the scope of discovery and in violation of Defendants’ privacy rights.

Resolution:

The Court found that Plaintiff’s Request for Production was within the scope of discovery and required the Defendant to produce certain text messages and iMessages in the relevant time period as propounded by Plaintiff with certain safeguards in place.

First, the Court held that the Plaintiff properly propounded written discovery requests seeking certain text messages and iMessages from the time period of January 1, 2019 through December 21, 2019. Second, the Court determined that the text messages and iMessages were relevant and responsive to Plaintiffs’ discovery requests from the period of January 1, 2019 through December 21, 2019 and were proportional to the claims and defenses in this case. Third, the Court determined that the Defendant currently possesses the same phone as she possessed and utilized back in 2019 during the relevant time period. Further, in an effort to end the discovery dispute, the Court found that a forensic examination with the necessary safeguards in place to protect Defendant’s privacy rights was the best way to accomplish the task. Additionally, the Court noted the potential for serious sanctions if e-discovery preservation, search, or production was inadequate. Moreover, the Court found that Plaintiff was not engaging in an “improper fishing expedition” in seeking the text messages and iMessages.

Finally, in order to protect Defendant’s privacy rights as to the personal matters on her phone, the Court ordered that an independent expert be appointed to facilitate the inspection, required the parties to meet and confer regarding their designation of such expert within seven (7) calendar days, and further ordered that no waiver of privilege would occur if the computer expert had direct or indirect access to information protected by attorney-client privilege that could have resulted in inadvertent disclosure. Lastly, the Court ordered that a neutral and agreed-upon third-party expert must create a mirror image of Defendant’s cell phone.

Relevant Documents:

Measured Wealth Private Client Grp. v. Foster_2021-08-05 14 28 15 +0000

Scheduling Order

Plaintiffs’ Request for Production

Plaintiff’s Rely in Motion to Compel Forensic Examination

Notice of Compliance

Motion to Compel

Interim Order

Complaint

Defendant’s Response in Opposition to Plaintiff’s Motion to Compel Forensic Examination

E-Discovery Issues: Discovery Order, Motion for Forensic Inspection, Motion for Sanctions, Motion for Spoliation, Motion to Compel, Preservation
E-discovery Tags: Forensic Analysis/Examination, Mirror Imaging, Preservation and Collection, Sanctions, Spoliation, Work Product
E-discovery subjects: Cell phone, Electronically stored information, Text message

Published: July 15th, 2022

Category: Uncategorized


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