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Court of Chancery Addresses Discovery Obligations Regarding Text Messages

In re Appraisal of Kate Spade Company, C.A. No. 2017-0714-AGB (Del. Ch. June 21, 2018)

The duty to collect and produce non-privileged relevant information extends beyond email to text messages and other forms of electronic communications. Standard practice in Delaware involves at least inquiring of custodians the extent to which they used text messages to engage in substantive communications on potentially relevant topics and to collect text message data when they answer affirmatively, absent an agreement to contrary between the parties. This bench ruling addresses that practice and reflects the Chancellor’s view that text messages often may be a critical source of information.