• Managing Smoking Gun Evidence: "E-Mail Is Letterhead" and More
  • June 30, 2004 | Authors: Henry R. Chalmers; Richard A. Mitchell
  • Law Firm: Arnall Golden Gregory LLP - Atlanta Office
  • Within the past eighteen months alone, five of the nation's largest securities firms, each of which has an extensive human resources and information systems network, had eight figure fines imposed on them by the Securities and Exchange Commission for failing to produce stored e-mails during the course of an investigation. On the flip side, recall that the federal antitrust case against Microsoft was built around internal e-mails sent by Bill Gates and then produced to the Department of Justice that referred to Microsoft's strategy to render Netscape obsolete. Even more recently, Martha Stewart had to defend against allegations that she waived her attorney-client privilege by forwarding e-mails to her daughter. This all shows that e-mail use and alleged misuse has become a powerful tactical weapon in litigation.