Much has been written in e-discovery circles about the Qualcomm Inc. v. Broadcom Corp. saga and the fate of Qualcomm’s outside counsel. Commentators and those who ride the e-discovery lecture circuit have frequently referenced Qualcomm as an illustration of e-discovery gone wrong, in which lawyers and their client did not fulfill their e-discovery-related obligations and were subjected to sanctions … and public embarrassment … as a result.

In the most recent (and final) chapter in this saga,[FOOTNOTE 1] however, the same magistrate judge who sanctioned the six outside counsel in 2008 (and had her order vacated by the district court) declined to impose such sanctions again. Even after another blistering critique of the e-discovery conduct of Qualcomm and its lawyers, the judge ruled that sanctions were not warranted either under Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 26(g)(3) or the court’s inherent authority.