For today’s litigators, e-discovery is clearly a two-edged sword. On the positive side, attorneys have much greater access to information that was not available in the past. Today, people are more apt to communicate in writing rather than by telephone. Revealing comments about a matter are often transmitted in e-mail, text messages, and social media, providing clear, hard, discoverable evidence for a plaintiffs or defense attorney. But based on our experience in representing a foreign bank in a $23 million civil theft claim against a group of Broward County defendants, e-discovery can be an expensive, time-consuming process adding to the cost of litigation and the necessity of state-of-art technology in the courtroom.
In this case, our client, the Bank of Mongolia, engaged the defendants to aid in financing an affordable-housing program in Mongolia. Rather than arranging financing, the bank ended up losing millions of dollars as a result of actions by the defendants. We filed an action in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Florida against eight individual and corporate defendants, seeking treble damages under the civil theft claim, as well as a claim under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act and a number of state causes of action. Over the past 10 months, our client invested several hundred thousand dollars in the e-discovery process made more complicated by a lack of cooperation by the defendants.
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