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Chancery Addresses eDiscovery Self-Collection in Pro Se Defense of Restrictive Covenant Dispute

Posted In Chancery, eDiscovery

Summit Fire & Security LLC v. Kolias, C.A. No. 2022-0460-MTZ (Del. Ch. Aug. 19, 2022)
“Self-collection” in eDiscovery refers to a party selecting its own data for review or production without input from counsel. Delaware courts generally disapprove of self-collection. But the courts will approach the issue differently in pro se matters where it may be necessary and appropriate for a party to self-collect, without turning any data repositories over to a vendor. In this restrictive covenant dispute, the plaintiff entity moved to compel the production of a complete forensic image of an individual pro se defendant’s phone, claiming that the prior production of relevant text messages was inadequate based on the defendant’s self-collection of data. The Court declined to order that relief, noting that self-collection often is necessary for pro se parties and that there was no indication that the defendant had failed to meet any of his preservation obligations. In light of those facts, and the case’s circumstances, requiring full access to a complete forensic image was unreasonable and disproportionate to the needs of the case.


Chancery Applies Privilege Rules in Business Negotiations Context

Posted In Chancery, eDiscovery, Privilege

Twin Willows, LLC v. Pritzkur, C.A. No. 2020-0199-PWG (Del. Ch. Feb. 28, 2022)
This decision involved a Master in Chancery applying well-settled rules on the attorney-client privilege, common interest, and work product doctrines. Respondent Pritzkur was appointed to serve as partition trustee for owners and tasked with selling the property. Pritzkur negotiated a sale agreement that was ultimately assigned to Petitioner Twin Willows. The agreement was not fully performed, and Twin Willows moved to compel production of communications between Pritzkur and the owners. Pritzkur asserted both common interest privilege and attorney work product. More ›


Chancery Declines to Order Production of Privileged Document

Posted In Attorney Client Privilege, Chancery, eDiscovery

Drachman v. BioDelivery Sciences International, Inc., C.A. No. 2019-0728-LWW (Del. Ch. Aug. 25, 2021)
Drachman addresses the attorney-client privilege, certain exceptions thereto, including the Garner doctrine, and waiver. Plaintiffs moved to compel the production of a redacted document over which defendants asserted privilege. The document in question was part of an email thread, or group of related communications, that included the advice of counsel and was produced across multiple documents with inconsistent redactions. One version of the communication “slipped through the cracks,” and was produced without redactions before being clawed back by the defendants under the confidentiality order entered in the case. More ›

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