Email and Discovery Risks: Beyond Qualcomm v. Broadcom

Effectively Managing Electronic Evidence and Avoiding Sanctions, Penalties and Ethical Violations

Recording of a 90-minute CLE webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Course Materials

This seminar will review discovery risks with email evidence for attorneys and clients, particularly since the Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp. ruling. The panel will outline steps to properly manage, retain and produce electronic evidence without incurring sanctions and penalties or violating legal ethics.


Attorneys face significant challenges with electronic communications evidence. Meeting discovery obligations, avoiding inadvertent disclosure of privileged material, and locating key evidence are just the start. Attorneys also face legal risks of e-discovery misconduct.

In the bellwether case of Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., a federal judge admonished Qualcomm and its counsel for failing to turn over email evidence. The court ordered Qualcomm to pay $8.5 million for Broadcom's litigation costs and referred counsel for possible state bar sanctions.

In some cases imposing sanctions for e-discovery misconduct, the attorney's conduct results in severe penalties for the client. In other cases, it is the client's conduct that leads to harsh penalties against counsel. What are the best practices for attorneys to navigate the risks of e-discovery?

Listen as our panel of experienced litigators examines the practical considerations for proper handling of electronic communications, the consequences of inadequate e-discovery management, and best practices for email and electronically stored information (ESI) retention and production.



  1. Qualcomm v. Broadcom
    1. Brief review of facts
    2. Judge Major’s ruling
    3. Business risks
  2. Practical considerations for proper handling of electronic communications
    1. Impact of the amended Federal Rules
    2. Duty to preserve
    3. Spoliation
    4. Collection
    5. Litigation risks
    6. Production of email and electronically stored documents
  3. Best practices for email and ESI retention and production
    1. Information management goals
    2. Legal hold policy
    3. Records management policy
    4. Inventory of records
    5. Records disposal policy
    6. Education/training
    7. CREDO (comprehensive case review and enforcement of discovery obligations)
    8. Ask questions and investigate


The panel will review these and other key questions:

  • What are the critical steps to advise clients in managing email communications and storage to avoid inadvertent disclosure of privileged material?
  • What are an attorney's obligations to prevent spoliation of email evidence?
  • What are best practices for email and ESI retention and production?
  • What should attorneys learn from Qualcomm in terms of identifying electronic evidence that must be disclosed?


Michael E. Lackey, Jr.
Michael E. Lackey, Jr.

Mayer Brown

He focuses on civil and criminal litigation and electronic discovery. He handles multi-district and class action...  |  Read More

Marie A. Lona
Marie A. Lona

Winston & Strawn

She chairs the firm’s E-Discovery and Electronic Information Practice Group and is experienced in e-discovery...  |  Read More

Lynn M. Reilly
Lynn M. Reilly

K & L Gates

Her practice includes work on a variety of litigation matters, including antitrust, contract and patent disputes. She...  |  Read More

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