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Dell Disputes Claim It Hid E-Mail Evidence in Suit Claiming Faulty Computers

Posted Aug 13, 2010 7:59 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A spokesman for Dell is disputing a claim that it withheld evidence in a lawsuit that claims it sold faulty computers and then tried to hide the problems.

A motion by the plaintiff, Internet services company Advanced Internet Technologies, claims that Dell violated discovery orders by failing to produce e-mails from top executives and other documents, the New York Times reports.

The motion argues Dell must have had more high-level communications about computer problems than a "talking points" memo already disclosed, the Time says. A related affidavit filed by digital forensics expert Larry Daniel said Dell had cut and pasted e-mail messages rather than supplying the actual messages, and a few appeared to be altered and incomplete, the Times says.

Dell spokesman David Frink says the company disagrees with the accusation that it violated a discovery order and it will be filing a response. “We take all court orders and our obligations to comply with them very seriously,” he said.

Alston & Bird, the law firm representing Dell in the lawsuit, had its own problems with Dell computers, according to documents in the litigation.

Recently, two Alston lawyers withdrew from the case because they are moving on to other jobs, according to documents filed in the case. Victoria Davis Lockard, a partner, has joined another law firm, identified as Greenberg Traurig in a press release. and William D’Antignac has taken an in-house counsel position, according to documents filed in the case. Dell’s lawyers are asking the court to push back the October trial date to December.

The case, filed in the Eastern District of North Carolina, is Advanced Internet Technologies Inc. v. Dell Inc.

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