The travails of the lawyers dubbed the “Qualcomm Six” by law blogs reporting on a dispute over fault for alleged e-discovery abuses, provide a graduate-level course for attorneys conducting discovery in an age of electronic data storage — and for their clients.

In Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp., Case No. 05cv1958-B (BLM) (S.D. Calif. Jan. 7, 2008) Major, M.J. (48 pages), U.S. Magistrate Judge Barbara L. Major sanctioned Qualcomm for “suppressing” (the court’s term) approximately 46,000 electronic files which had been requested but not produced in discovery and which, apparently, were virtually dispositive, adversely to Qualcomm on one of the matter’s key issues. The court also sanctioned six counsel retained by Qualcomm. The retained attorneys appealed to U.S. District Judge Rudi M. Brewster in Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp.,Case No. 05cv1958-RMB (BLM) (S.D. Calif. March 5, 2008) Brewster, J. (6 pages), challenging Qualcomm’s assertion of attorney-client privilege which had barred them from defending their conduct before the magistrate.

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