Attorneys have a duty to preserve evidence when bringing or defending claims.
In many jurisdictions, even accidental losses of evidence can lead to sanctions. For example, last year, an MMA fighter was sanctioned after a bottle of supplements critical to his suit against the manufacturer was lost in transit. The court instructed the jury that it could draw an adverse inference based on the lost evidence.
Courts may also impose these sanctions where evidence is lost before a lawsuit is ever filed, if the litigation was foreseeable. Attorneys must therefore keep this duty to preserve evidence in mind after a dispute arises and remind clients to do the same.
Continue Reading Practice Pointer: Potential Consequences for Inadvertent Spoliation of Evidence