LVBH attorney Wendy Musell was interviewed for an article by The Register, a global online technology news publication, regarding Google employees’ willfully destroying evidence in the Android antitrust case. The issue at hand concerns a feature within Google Chat that allows for conversations to be automatically deleted after 24 hours. Despite a litigation hold being in place, employees were continuing to set the feature so that chats would not be retained.
In the article, Wendy states, “if the facts are as they’re portrayed in the briefing, it’s extremely disconcerting, and I would not want to be Google’s counsel today.”
“If they had a legal duty to preserve evidence, and they are intentionally destroying evidence, and also ensuring that evidence is automatically deleted after 24 hours, I think that’s going to be extremely difficult to explain to a judge,” she continued.
Ms. Musell’s observation was prescient, as the judge in the case sanctioned Google, finding that Google not only failed to adequately preserve records but also took steps to undermine the litigation.