In an era when a legal case can involve, literally, billions of pages of discoverable documents, eDiscovery can be a daunting task for lawyers and companies. The trick is having a solid eDiscovery plan and knowing the rules of engagement.

Failure to preserve data is the most commonly issued sanction, followed by failure to produce data. And the bulk of sanctions cases involved willful conduct and not simply negligence.

“Federal courts in particular are becoming less willing to sanction parties unless there has been a willful action in the case,” said Ballard Spahr eDiscovery partner Philip Yannella. “If it’s just negligence, most federal courts are less likely to sanction.”