Sanctions Issued Because Key Documents Produced in Non-Native Format and Inadequate Search

“In one of the Rothstein Ponzi-scheme cases, Coquina Investments v. Rothstein, No. 10-60786 (S.D. Fla. Aug. 3, 2012), the court entered post-trial Rule 37 sanctions against a defendant bank and its outside counsel for several discovery failures, including e-discovery deficiencies.  The court cited two primary e-discovery problems.  First, the bank produced a key electronic database file in a “non-native” format (a black and white “.tiff” file), which caused important information in the file to be rendered illegible in the version produced to the plaintiff. . . Second, the bank and its lawyers made several incorrect representations that a certain document did not exist, but they never searched their own document-review platform for the document. . . As a sanction, the court held that certain factual issues the bank contested at trial that were affected by the discovery failures would be “taken as established” against the bank, which would negatively impact the bank’s post-trial motions and possibly its appeal.”