I have always been a strong advocate that you should be awarded sanctions if you had to bring a motion to get the relief you were entitled to even if the other side complied prior to the hearing on the motion. However in the case of Evilsizor v. Sweeney (2014) 230 CA4th 1304, the First District Court of Appeal had an interesting take on the issue.
W. George Wailes, a Business Trial Attorney and Director at Carr McClellan, in Burlingame, CA brings us this warning from the California Court of Appeal about what could happen to a third party that refuses to comply with a subpoena for electronically stored information.
The California Court of Appeal recently provided rare guidance regarding a third party’s obligations to produce electronically stored information (ESI) in response to a subpoena. In Vasquez v. California School of Culinary Arts, Inc. (Sallie Mae) (2014) 230 CA4th 35, the court defined subpoenaed parties’ obligations to extract existing data from computer systems and upheld an award of attorneys’ fees against the recalcitrant third party. The court concluded that it is unreasonable for a third party to withhold ESI that exists in its computer systems on the basis that outputting the ESI entails creating a “new” spreadsheet.