Numerous courts have imposed sanctions for failing to preserve e-mails and other electronic documents. But few decisions have addressed the consequences of destroying electronic information stored on portable electronic devices — such as BlackBerrys and smart phones. This may be starting to change.

Recently, in Southeastern Mechanical Services Inc. v. Brody, No. 8:08-CV-1151, 2009 WL 2883057 (M.D. Fla. Aug. 31, 2009), the Middle District of Florida imposed spoliation sanctions for destruction of e-mails, calendar entries and text messages that were stored on portable electronic devices. This court’s imposition of sanctions is an important reminder about the consequences of deleting information on such devices.

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