Matters handled by attorneys in our eDiscovery practice include the following:

  • A major international pharmaceutical company engaged us to review its global IS infrastructure and produce a "road map" for electronic discovery. We produced a comprehensive resource covering the technology systems, functionality, and assets likely to be areas of focus during eDiscovery. It was designed as a living, working document, to be continually updated and referred to in preparing for then-active litigation and future litigation. 

  • We represented a chemical company in federal and California State class actions alleging that it had agreed to fix prices and shut down production facilities, and in related federal civil class action litigation and a DOJ grand jury investigation. We developed an eDiscovery schematic of the process, from subpoena receipt through records production. We settled the federal action. Summary judgment was denied as to the remaining defendants. The State action was stayed, pending federal case resolution. 

  • A national bank and national credit card company, defendants in consumer class action lawsuits, engaged us to handle litigation holds to address statewide, multistate, and national actions. We helped identify the claims, key personnel or groups/departments within the clients' company, and types and date ranges of records to preserve. We assisted with mapping systems to identify record locations and identify, develop, or confirm preservation protocols. We recommended cost-effective ways to preserve specialized record types. 

  • A water and wastewater utility that had retained a software consultant to develop a new electronic records archiving system sought guidance from us on legal obligations for retention and litigation holds and in assessing the quality of the consultant's work. We worked with the client’s legal, IT, and business personnel to review the system, recommend any needed changes, and advise on the retention schedule. The client continues to consult us as the project progresses. 

  • A military-vehicles manufacturer sought our guidance on electronic and paper-record storage and retention. We reviewed the existing retention policy, developed a protocol and information-collection procedure for interviewing custodians, assessed existing record stores and analyzed record types to revise the retention schedule, and trained teams to lead and conduct records analyses. We also guided formation of litigation hold teams in each business unit and conducted an educational program on the litigation process and eDiscovery procedures. 

  • A REIT Board's litigation committee retained us to help investigate derivative litigation claims filed in federal and state courts. We collected and reviewed more than 400,000 documents, primarily electronic, covering three years and various subjects, including technical accounting issues. With a forensic computer consultant, we gathered documents from e-mail accounts, network servers, and file servers in three countries. Based on our report, the committee found the allegations to be meritless; we filed a motion to dismiss the claims. The parties subsequently settled. 

  • Before joining Ballard Spahr, Philip Yannella was national discovery counsel in litigation involving parallel products liability, securities, and patent cases and state and federal investigations for global giants in the health care, biotechnology, and biopharmaceutical industries. He also was national counsel for a large diagnostic health services company and a foreign, privately held perfume and flavor company in consumer fraud and product litigation. 

  • We helped a national company in a software patent dispute identify data sources, resolve retrieval issues with archived data, and track down data held by another company. The resulting data set included several hundred thousand loose files. Through searches and data restrictions, we cut the number of loose files that needed to be added to the review set and/or processed, resulting in significant cost savings. The subsequent review involved more than 800,000 e-mails and attachments. 

  • We represented a building developer in a dispute requiring that more than 2.9 million documents be collected. Construction defects had delayed development of our client's condos, forcing it to carry $30,000 a day in interest. The developer asserted that the construction management company was responsible for the defects and, thus, the interest. Through document review, we developed a timeline determining responsibility, and expert witnesses supported it. The dispute settled on terms very favorable to our client. 

  • We represented a hospital in litigation during which we collected the equivalent of 1 million-plus pages. The data, collected from more than 100 custodians, included e-mail, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, Adobe images, and PowerPoint files, produced in TIFF format with load files. 

  • Before joining Ballard Spahr, Laura Krabill handled a matter in which 4 million pages had been exchanged between 2001 and 2004. Those pages included e-mails, Word documents, Excel spreadsheets, PowerPoint files, Adobe/JPEG images, database libraries and applications, and proprietary software applications. These were produced in TIFF format with load files and native files. 

  • A school district retained us to investigate its remote webcam monitoring of laptops issued to high school students. Working with an independent computer consultant across 10 weeks, we collected and preserved electronic documents and data from assets including servers dedicated to managing student laptops and e-mail and file servers. The electronic data collected totaled about 19 terabytes. We reviewed about 500,000 pages of electronic and hard-copy documents covering more than three years. Our findings culminated in an extensive public report. 

  • We defended a stock exchange, its board, and its strategic investors in Delaware Chancery Court against a suit filed by a purported class of shareholders alleging breach of fiduciary duty. The eDiscovery process involved 2 million electronic documents. We negotiated a search-term list that reduced the number of e-mails for attorney review from 1.5 million to about 400,000. We also obtained an order imposing tight, unusually specific confidentiality restrictions on broad categories of documents. 

  • We defended a major pharmaceutical company on a motion to compel compliance with a subpoena in which the issuing party sought the transcription of 1,500 backup tapes. The court ordered only the production of an index to the tapes and intimated that the issuing party would be liable for only the expenses of the transcript.