News Stories

August 6, 2022

Possible Additional Fallout From Alex Jones Cell Phone Disclosure

Bloomberg Law reports: Two attorneys for Alex Jones could potentially face discipline for wrongfully releasing the medical information of plaintiffs in a case accusing the InfoWars host of defaming them, Connecticut court filings show. … On Thursday, the Superior Court for the Judicial District of Waterbury ordered two of Jones’ attorneys, Andino […]
August 5, 2022

Phones of top Pentagon officials were wiped of Jan. 6 messages

The Washington Post reports that: “The Pentagon erased a potential trove of material related to the Jan. 6, 2021, attack on the Capitol from the phones of senior defense officials in the Trump administration, according to legal filings.”  Karoun Demirjian and Jacqueline Alemany, Phones of top Pentagon officials wiped of Jan. 6 […]
August 4, 2022

Trump Aide Navarro Sued by US Over Private Email Account Records

Bloomberg Law reports that: The US Justice Department sued former White House trade adviser Peter Navarro, claiming he’s refused to provide the National Archives with emails retained on a private account he used while working for President Donald Trump. “Mr. Navarro is wrongfully retaining presidential records that are the property of the […]
August 4, 2022

“Sandy Hook lawyers say Alex Jones’s attorneys accidentally gave them his phone contents”

Brittany Shammas and Kim Bellware reported that Alex Jones attorneys accidentally gave up his phone’s contents, Sandy Hook lawyers say – The Washington Post  (Aug. 3, 2022). The Post reports that: The legal team representing Infowars founder Alex Jones inadvertently sent the contents of his cellphone to a lawyer representing the parents of […]
July 16, 2022

$1 Million Sanction Award Against Google

A $971,715.09 sanction was imposed by The Hon. Susan Van Keulen in Brown v. Google, No. 20-cv-03664-YGR, Dkt. No. 631 (N.D. Ca. July 15, 2022).  “The Court has already determined that the appropriate measure of the monetary sanction for Google’s discovery misconduct is the attorneys’ fees and costs incurred in bringing the […]
July 15, 2022

Secret Service erased texts from Jan. 5 and 6, 2021, official says

In Maria Sacchetti and Carol D. Leonnig, Secret Service erased texts from January 5 and 6, 2021, official says – The Washington Post (July 14, 2022), the Washington Post reports that Joseph V. Cuffari, head of the Department of Homeland Security’s Office of Inspector General, “accused the U.S. Secret Service of erasing texts from […]
July 14, 2022

Remote Deposition Misconduct – Again – With Novel Cure – Again

“An attorney who quietly provided answers to his client during her remote video deposition violated ethics rules, a court has held.” William H. Newman, Court Sanctions Attorney for Feeding Deponent Answers (americanbar.org) (Apr. 27, 2022).  Counsel was disqualified as a result. Like many depositions during the pandemic, the Barksdale deposition took place remotely over […]
July 12, 2022

Directive to Collect Less Evidence

“Prosecutors struggling to pore through mushrooming amounts of electronic data they uncover during corporate crime investigations are beginning to hear counterintuitive advice from the Justice Department: Collect less evidence. The nascent strategy of selectively seizing fewer computers, cell phones, and hard drives coincides with an exponential growth of available e-data. It comes […]
July 11, 2022

How to Properly Erase Hard Drives?

The Washington Post recently published an article by Chris Velazco, titled How to securely erase your old hard drives once and for all (July 8, 2022). “There are so many stories about people buying used computers online and recovering data,” said Andrés Arrieta, director of consumer privacy engineering at the Electronic Frontier […]
June 23, 2022

Alleged “Win-At-All-Costs” Tactics in Defense of Exoneree Lawsuits for Wrongful Conviction Damages

Two recent articles describe alleged “win-at-all-costs” tactics in defense of wrongful conviction lawsuits in Baltimore and Chicago.  They point to, on the one hand, allegations of damages claims for unreasonable amounts by exonerees and, on the other, alleged scorched earth defenses costing millions of dollars and subjecting exonerees to unreasonable indignity. I […]
June 13, 2022

When is a Haircut Spoliation? – Recent Oral Argument in Court of Appeals

I have been following with interest a case in the Maryland Court of Appeals on whether and when a potential criminal defendant cutting his hair may be viewed as spoliation.  See When is a Haircut Spoliation? Certiorari Granted and When is a Haircut Spoliation? The Maryland Daily Record recently reported on oral argument. S. Lash,  MD […]
May 20, 2022

Sanctions for Discovery Misconduct

The ABA reports that a Judge criticizes ‘nasty litigation tactics’ while sanctioning BigLaw firm (abajournal.com)[1]  Sanctions were based on statements the court deemed to be untrue and deposition conduct the court deemed to be unprofessional and rude.[2] The court wrote: After considering all the evidence and arguments, I find that Stryker failed […]
May 16, 2022

Information Governance – Mis(?)-Labeling Documents as Privileged (Part IV)

Google’s “communicate with care” program has garnered a lot of attention.[1] It allegedly instructed employees to label any written communications on a certain topic as privileged and send them to in-house counsel.  The Department of Justice sought sanctions and an order compelling disclosure, asserting that the policy was pretextual. Google replied that […]
May 11, 2022

Recognized by America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators

It is an honor to be selected as one of America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators. If you would like more information about America’s Top 100 Civil Defense Litigators® or the selection process, please visit the website at www.Top100CivilDefenseLitigators.com
April 29, 2022

Deposition Errata Pages in Maryland

An excellent article by Brian A. Zemel, All Things Errata (americanbar.org)(ABA Apr. 19, 2022), addresses the scope of changes a deponent may make to an errata sheet. He explains: If the deponent’s submission is procedurally valid, counsel should then determine whether the witness’s changes were substantive and whether the jurisdiction permits such changes. […]
April 28, 2022

Recognized by Super Lawyers for 2022

It is an honor to be among the attorneys at Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC who are Recognized by Super Lawyers for 2022. “Super Lawyers selects attorneys using a patented multiphase selection process. Peer nominations and evaluations are combined with independent research. Each candidate is evaluated on 12 indicators of peer recognition and professional […]
April 27, 2022

Proposal to Lift Geographic Limits on Practice of Law – Implications for ESI

The ABA recently reported on a proposal that Lawyers should be able to practice law in any state, says group urging ABA model rule change (abajournal.com). The proposal appears especially well-suited to ESI.[1] The author, Debra Cassens Weiss, reports that “[t]he proposed rule change by the Association of Professional Responsibility Lawyers emphasizes the concept […]
April 15, 2022

Attorney’s Duty to Protect Smartphone Data

“An attorney who stores the confidential identity of their clients on a smartphone must not consent to share contact information with an app unless that information won’t be shared with any human, the New York State Bar Association said.” D. McAfee, New York Bar Outlines Attorneys’ Duty to Protect Smartphone Data (bloomberglaw.com) (Apr. 13, […]
April 9, 2022

Information Governance – Mis(?)-Labeling Documents as Privileged (Part III)

When the Department of Justice alleged that Alphabet Inc.’s Google was camouflaging ordinary documents as privileged, I – and many others – posted abut information governance.  When Google responded that the government’s allegation was “baseless” and that it had spent 21,000 hours on privilege review, I also reported that.  Information Governance – […]
February 5, 2022

Ethics: Misconduct in Remote Trial

I recently wrote a blog Ethics: Misconduct in Remote Depositions. The ABA Journal has provided an example of misconduct in a virtual trial.  D. Weiss, “Lawyer is suspended for coaching client using chat function during virtual trial” (ABA Journal Feb. 1, 2022).  Ms. Weiss reports that: “An Arizona lawyer has consented to a two-month […]
February 4, 2022

Harford County Redistricting Challenge Dismissed

With the excellent attorneys and staff of Rifkin Weiner Livingston LLC, I was lead counsel in the defense of a redistricting lawsuit in Harford County, MD.  The firm press release states: “RWL was pleased to represent the Harford County Council and its members in the above matter. The statement below was just […]
July 18, 2021

Feds Can’t Hire ESI Vendor in Capitol Siege Criminal Cases

Federal prosecutors have been precluded from hiring an ESI vendor to assist with massive e-discovery in criminal cases arising out of the January 6th prosecutions. Deloitte Financial Advisory Services LLP is barred from helping federal prosecutors and other government staff sort and organize the huge volumes of electronic data and other evidence […]
June 8, 2020

The Sedona Conference and Its Impact on E-Discovery

Kenneth J. Withers of the Sedona Conference has posted a chapter from M. Berman, et al., eds., “Electronic Discovery in Maryland Courts” (MSBA 2020), on the Sedona Conference’s web site.  The Sedona Conference has had, and continues to have, a pivotal role in e-discovery.  Sedona papers were cited by the Court of Appeals […]
August 20, 2012

News Report: Update on Mark T. Pappas of Victor Stanley v. Creative Pipe “Fame”

The August 19 2012, Maryland Daily Record reports that “Fuvista” CEO Mark T. Pappas was conditionally released after two weeks in jail.  He reportedly wired $120,000 to pay a portion of the civil sanctions in the Victor Stanley v. Creative Pipe case.  The Daily Record reports that The Hon. Marvin J. Garbis […]
August 19, 2012

“Too Much Evidence” – Criminal Charges Dismissed

The ABA reports that federal prosecutors have dropped criminal charges against a doctor in a massive online pharmacy case because it has become too costly to pursue the case.  M. McDonough, “Too Much Evidence Cited as Reason for Dropping Drug Charges Against Fugitive Doctor,” (ABA Aug. 17, 2012).  The case involved two […]
August 18, 2012

News Report: Mr. Mark T. Pappas of Victor Stanley v. Creative Pipe “Fame” Denied Bail

The Maryland Daily Record reports that Mr. Mark T. Pappas, protagonist in the “Victor Stanley case,” was denied bail “because of his ‘long history’ of noncompliance [with Court orders] and ‘lack of candor’ in the [Victor Stanley] litigation.  Ben Mook, “Back from Belize, Pappas denied bail,” The Daily Record, Aug. 15, 2012.  […]
July 20, 2010

State’s top court rules that referendum on Arundel Mills slots is legal

The Baltimore Sun reported on the arguments before the Court of Appeals of Maryland, the State’s highest Court, on the “slots” referendum.  “Michael D. Berman, an attorney for the Maryland Jockey Club and the citizens group Citizens Against Slots at the Mall, argued before the court Tuesday morning that the right to […]
July 20, 2010

“Slots” Referendum Argument in Maryland Court of Appeals

WBAL TV reported that during oral argument in the State’s highest court, “Michael Berman, an attorney for a group that opposes putting the casino near Arundel Mills Mall, said the framework of the constitutional amendment approved by Maryland voters in 2008 imposed the possibility of local discretion on where a casino could […]
June 3, 2010

Arundel Slots Trial Ends

The Baltimore Sun reported on the seven-day hearing on the “slots” referendum in the Circuit Court for Anne Arundel County, reporting that: “Michael Berman, an attorney for the community group, said the board [of elections] used ‘evenhanded, reasonable decision-making’ and that further examination of the carefully completed process would ‘disenfranchise voters based on […]
May 25, 2010

Berman Rebuts Opponent’s Argument

When opponents of the referendum petition argued that CASM is a “non-existent entity” created by the jockey club to disguise its involvement in the petition drive, they said:  “It [CASM] was a deception to the prospective signers.” Michael Berman, arguing for CASM and others, responded:  “I am here representing the non-existent entity […]
April 16, 2010

Trial Court Argument on Slots Referendum

On April 16, the Annapolis Capital reported that Michael D. Berman argued in favor of a referendum petition and stated that the challenge “seeks to chill and taint the ongoing election campaign,’ said attorney Michael Berman, who represents Citizens Against Slots at The Mall, one of the groups formed to push the petition […]