Pop Star e-Discovery: Taylor Swift Gets a Lesson in the New Rule 37(e)
Tuesday, July 25, 2017
Posted by: ACEDS Marketing Team
Extract from David Horrigan's article "Pop Star e-Discovery: Taylor Swift Gets a Lesson in the New Rule 37(e)" posted on The Relativity Blog
If you ever think e-discovery law is the somewhat dry domain of software, servers, and many, many motions, yesterday’s Colorado federal court decision in Mueller v. Swift will remind you that e-discovery is so much more.
Yes, when you have the pop star Taylor Swift, an erstwhile Denver DJ, accusations of sexual misconduct, a clandestine audio recording, a mysterious malfunctioning external hard drive, and—of course—coffee spilled on an Apple laptop, it goes to show that e-discovery is everywhere.
In this case, Swift may be able to Shake It Off with her fans, but—in her effort to get spoliation sanctions for the caffeinated computer—she could not shake off the provisions of the amended Fed. R. Civ. P 37(e).
Too Close for Comfort
Things did not go well. In the summer of 2013, Taylor Swift gave a concert at Denver’s Pepsi Center. Swift had a meet and greet after the concert, and Denver radio personality David Mueller attended the event.
Swift alleged that Mueller touched her inappropriately as a photo was being taken. Specifically, Swift testified in her deposition that Mueller “reached up under my skirt and grabbed my ass right when I was having to pose for a photo.”
Not only did Mueller deny the accusations, he sued Swift, claiming he was fired from his DJ job at Denver’s KYGO radio due to Swift’s false accusations, which Mueller argued constituted tortious interference with his employment contract. Swift counterclaimed for assault and battery.
Followers of the celebrity press are probably familiar with these allegations, including the photo from the backstage shoot, allegedly showing the incident.
However, when it came time for e-discovery, it wasn’t the photo—or even email—that became the biggest spoliation issue. It was an audio recording.
Read the full article here