NY Appellate Court Slams Use of Hacked Email

Craig A. Newman of Patterson Belknap writes:

When we hear about discovery abuses in litigation, we often think of overzealous lawyers using obstructionist tactics. Such behavior, however, rarely involves litigants hacking into the email of an adversary or accessing privileged attorney-client communications that disclose litigation strategies.

But in a unanimous rulinglast week, a New York state appeals court found that a litigant’s “improper and willful” misconduct – which included “improperly accessing approximately 12,000 of defendant’s privileged attorney/client communications … [and] deleting relevant documents” – justified the dismissal of an assault and battery lawsuit.

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