In litigation between an employee and his or her former employer, the employer will often seek to recover materials stored on the former employee’s computer or on its computer network, with the goal of uncovering e-mails or other electronic materials that could incriminate the employee or help the employer’s case.

Even if relevant materials are found on the employer’s computers, a court may suppress their use at trial or, if a preemptory motion is made by the employee to preclude such information’s recovery, may not permit its retrieval by the employer.[FOOTNOTE 1] While it may appear counterintuitive, it is not axiomatic that an employer will have “free reign” to utilize such materials in a litigation against a former employee.

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