Creative Pipe Inc., represented by Kaufman, was sued by furniture manufacturer Victor Stanley Inc. in 2006 for copyright and patent violations and unfair competition.
In a September 9 ruling, Judge Paul W. Grimm of the U.S. District Court of Maryland sanctioned Creative Pipe CEO Mark Pappas and threatened him with jail time if he didn't pay his opponent's legal fees. Grimm also held Pappas liable for copyright infringement as punishment for destroying electronic evidence in the case. Kaufman was not involved with the case when the discovery violations took place.
According to the article, the ruling is one of the most comprehensive looks at spoliation and provides a framework for e-discovery in all federal circuits. Grimm's decision on copyright infringement must still be approved by the district judge, but he recommended the judge deny the plaintiff's requests to secure judgment on other claims in the case.
Although the copyright ruling went against his client, Kaufman said he agreed with Judge Grimm's recommendations.
“You can never really be pleased when that kind of ruling comes down against a client, but in the overall scheme of things, we were pleased that it's what we had requested the court to do,” Kaufman said.