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Courts have decried for years a general lack of understanding and awareness regarding electronic discovery among lawyers. On January 19, 2021, U.S. District Judge Iain Johnston took his concerns on e-discovery competence to a whole new level. In DR Distributors, LLC v. 21 Century Smoking, Inc., Judge Johnston published a 256-page sanctions order that specifically reproved defendants’ counsel for failing to take even the most basic steps to preserve relevant information. In doing so, DR Distributors offers what is tantamount to a 101 course for lawyers on e-discovery, particularly regarding the need to keep relevant information in litigation and the consequences for counsel who fail to help clients do so.

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