Victor Stanley, Inc., v. Creative Pipe, Inc., 2010 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 93644 (D.Md., Sept. 9, 2010), (“Victor Stanley II“)
The sanctions entered in Victory Stanley II, which included a civil contempt finding and potentially up to two years of jail time for egregious ediscovery violations, obscure the decision’s deeper significance. In Victor Stanley II, Judge Paul Grimm establishes the need for uniform federal standards for spoliation sanctions.
In what he described as “the single most egregious example of spoliation” encountered in nearly 14 years on the bench, Judge Grimm concluded that the defendant’s “pervasive and willful” acts of spoliation should be treated as contempt of court. He entered an uncontested default judgment on the plaintiff’s copyright infringement claim, and further directed the defendant be imprisoned for a period not to exceed two years, “unless and until” the defendant pays the plaintiff’s attorneys fees and costs “with respect to all efforts expended throughout the case to demonstrate the nature and extent of the defendant’s spoliation.” Judge Grimm explained that the sanction of civil contempt with the specter of jail time was “absolutely essential” because without it, the defendant would do everything possible to avoid paying any money judgment or fee award entered as a result of the defendant’s discovery misconduct.
Read the rest of this entry »