United States v. Stirling » The Florida E-Discovery Case Law Database » Levin College of Law » University of Florida

United States v. Stirling

United States v. Stirling

Case Date: 06/06/2012
Citation: United States v. Stirling, CASE NO. 11-20792-CR-ALTONAGA, 2012 WL 12926045 (S.D. Fla. June 6, 2012)
Court Type: Federal District
Court: Southern District of Florida (S.D. Fla.)
Judge: Federal District Judge: Cecilia M. Altonaga
Rule(s): Fed. R. Crim. P. 16; Fed. R. Crim. P. 33; Rule 34

Defendant moved for a new trial, alleging that the government’s withholding of a Skype chat log fundamentally impacted the fairness of his trial. The issue was whether the government complied with its discovery obligations by only providing Defendant a mirror image of his laptop hard drive.


The Court granted Defendant’s motion for a new trial, and held that the government never disclosed the incriminating Skype chat logs to Defendant, as the government did not inform Defendant either of their existence or their ability to be extracted from Defendant’s laptop computer. Further, the government did not turn over the Skype communication logs until the morning of their expert’s testimony. Although the government produced the necessary electronically stored information, it did so in a manner that would have required Defendant to use a forensic expert to uncover the information it planned using at trial, and therefore fundamentally impacted the fairness of Defendant’s trial.

Relevant Documents:

Motion for New Trial (Doc. 199)

Response in Opposition to Motion for New Trial (Doc. 204)

Reply in Support of Motion for New Trial (Doc. 207)

Order on Motion for New Trial (Doc. 214)


E-Discovery Issues: Motion for New Trial
E-discovery Tags: Forensic Analysis/Examination, Form of Production, Identical Copies, Mirror Imaging, Possession or Control, Sources of ESI
E-discovery subjects: Computer, Hard drive, Skype

Published: December 28th, 2017

Category: Uncategorized

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