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Nonparty Spoliation Alleged in Oracle Case

Posted Apr 18, 2007 7:53 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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A discovery dispute in a securities fraud suit filed against Oracle Corp. raises the issue: Did the software company have an obligation to warn nonparties to preserve evidence?

British author Matthew Symonds interviewed Oracle CEO Larry Ellison for a book he wrote. Symonds first said a computer virus destroyed his digital recordings of Ellison’s remarks, according to the National Law Journal. Later he said that was false and he had the computer destroyed because it was not working. A third statement by Symonds was sealed by the court.

At a hearing May 1, a San Francisco federal judge will consider whether Symonds may assert a Fifth Amendment right not to testify, according to the legal newspaper.

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