In an opinion yesterday, Magistrate Judge Ellis sanctioned The Money Store and other related defendants for failing to preserve evidence held by a third party vendor, Fidelity National Foreclosure Solutions. The underlying class action accuses the defendants of improper debt collection practices relating to mortgage loans, and the plaintiff argued that evidence from a database created by Fidelity (referred to as the “New Invoice System”) was improperly lost. Calling to mind a similar opinion from Magistrate Judge Mass two years ago (see this post), Judge Ellis found that, since the defendants has the legal right and practical ability to direct Fidelity to preserve evidence, they were required to do so:
Continue Reading Judge Ellis Sanctions Party for Failing to Preserve Evidence Held by Nonparty Vendor

Today, Judge Baer adopted and upheld Magistrate Judge Maas’ decision not to assess a spoliation sanction in a declaratory judgment action relating to a construction contract. In an opinion issued on April 20, Judge Maas found that plaintiffs GenOn Mid-Atlantic, LLC and GenOn Chalk Point, LLC had acted at least negligently in failing to instruct FTI Consulting Inc. – a third-party that had assisted them in performing audits related to the relevant contract – to preserve relevant electronic documents. He concluded that the GenOn plaintiffs were “responsible for spoliation” but that no sanction was warranted because defendant “was not prejudiced by the spoliation.” (Our previous post on that decision is here)
Continue Reading Judge Baer Upholds Magistrate’s Denial of Spoliation Sanction for Failure to Issue Litigation Hold