A federal judge who took over the long-running Oracle Corp. securities class action case after the prior judge left the bench, gave her first indication Friday that she may be willing to impose sanctions for alleged destruction of evidence by a key defense witness in the case.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston of the Northern District of California said she is “not inclined” to throw the whole case to the plaintiffs over the spoliation of evidence claim, but finds “lesser evidentiary sanctions may be appropriate.” She ordered both sides to brief the question, and whether such sanctions would prevent her from entering a partial or full summary judgment — the other major motion pending before her in Nursing Home Pension Fund v. Oracle Corp., No. C01-988SI.

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