June 26, 2013 Articles

Spoliation Considerations When Dealing with Social Media Evidence

By Kristin Caballero Tiffany

Spoliation generally refers to "the destruction or significant alteration of evidence, or the failure to preserve property for another's use as evidence in pending or reasonably for[e]seeable litigation." MOSAID Techs., Inc. v. Samsung Elecs. Co., 348 F. Supp. 2d 332, 335 (D.N.J. 2004). A litigant is under a duty to preserve what it knows or reasonably should know will likely be requested in litigation. Remedies for spoliation vary upon the nature of the spoliation and the jurisdiction, but may include an adverse-inference instruction, dismissal of the action, judgment in a party's favor, fines, and attorney fees.

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