The discoverability of e-mails is an area of law that every modern day lawyer must be familiar with in order to avoid the risk of being sanctioned. Over the past years, courts have awarded sanctions to moving parties at a steadily increasing pace. These sanctions have included adverse jury instructions, default judgements, attorney's fees, large monetary fines, and in one instance, a jail sentence. Courts have sent the message that improper conduct will not be tolerated in this developing area of law by not hesitating to order sanctions. Thus, it is essential that modern day lawyers become acquainted with the e-discovery standards of their jurisdiction and grasp the crucial role that the discovery of e-mails plays in virtually every lawsuit. Technology in the digital era is transforming the way individuals communicate and the way we store information. This note serves as a guide for attorneys on how to properly handle the preservation and discovery of e-mails. Following the framework set forth below will ensure that an attorney diligently and competently represents their client, and will alleviate the risk of being sanctioned.
Martin, Michael J.
"The Discoverability of E-Mails: The Smoking Gun of the Modern Era,"
University of Massachusetts Law Review: Vol. 7
, Article 5.
Available at: http://scholarship.law.umassd.edu/umlr/vol7/iss1/5