August 07, 2018 Top Story

Alleged Failure to Monitor Discovery Leads to Malpractice Suit

Law firm unable to shake malpractice claim for not preventing spoliation

Onika K. Williams

An attorney’s failure to institute a litigation hold or monitor a client’s compliance with that hold may constitute malpractice, according to at least one federal district court.

iStockphoto by Getty Images

In  Industrial Quick Search, Inc. v. Miller, Rosado & Algois, LLP, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York rejected a law firm’s defense against claims that its lawyers were not involved enough in the discovery process; the court thus found the firm liable for $2.5 million in damages related to spoliation sanctions levied on a former client. ABA Section of Litigation leaders see the case as a reminder of the importance of determining a client’s understanding of the discovery process and preservation obligations.

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