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Pension Committee v. Banc of America Securities

United States District Court for the Southern District of New York
685 F. Supp. 2d 456 (S.D.N.Y. 2010)


Facts

Shareholders (plaintiffs) in Lancer Offshore, Inc. and OmniFund Ltd. (the Funds) sued parties associated with the Funds (defendants) in February 2004 for damages resulting from liquidation of the Funds. After the Funds’ manager filed for bankruptcy in 2003, the Funds were held in receivership in Florida. The plaintiffs hired attorneys in November 2003. The lawyers indicated that production should be over-inclusive, but gave no standard litigation hold instructing the plaintiffs to preserve relevant information. In 2005, the action was transferred to the United States District Court for the Southern District of New York. Discovery began in 2007, and almost immediately the gaps in the plaintiffs’ document production became apparent. Some plaintiffs failed to institute a litigation hold, preserve documents, secure documents from key players, and supervise production. Plaintiffs also deleted electronic documents and made false declarations. Other plaintiffs belatedly instituted litigation holds or failed to instruct employees. The defendants moved to sanction the plaintiffs.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Scheindlin, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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