Judge Davis Denies Motion for Spoliation Sanctions
April 11, 2017
In Riverside Fund v. Shyamsundar, C.A. No. N14C-10-038-EMD-CCLD, Judge Davis denied defendant Visagar Shyamsundar’s (“Shyamsundar”) motion for spoliation sanctions against co-defendant Ronald F. Cornelison (“Cornelison”). The Court found that Shyamsundar failed to provide sufficient evidence proving that spoliation occurred. In his motion for spoliation sanctions, Shyamsundar claimed that Cornelison destroyed a recording related to Cornelison’s fraud cross-claim against Shyamsundar.
The Court relied on Cornelison’s testimony under oath in deciding this motion. In his testimony, Cornelison stated that the destroyed recording was not relevant or related to the fraud cross-claim, and when he destroyed the recording he did not anticipate bringing the fraud cross-claim against Shyamsundar because the fraud claim did not accrue until months after he destroyed the evidence. Judge Davis denied the motion for spoliation sanctions due to insufficient evidence presented by Shyamsundar.
Analysis: Electronic discovery is a frequently litigated topic, and the CCLD is well versed in handling complex e-discovery disputes. The CCLD has been developing procedures to address these issues and has, in certain cases, appointed special discovery masters with experience in e-discovery disputes. This case demonstrates that regardless of the technical issues presented, the judges of the CCLD will develop and rely on record evidence to render a decision.