Your cell phone and your legal case

In employment litigation, the parties often take keen interest in electronically stored information (ESI). And one of the most fertile sources of ESI is the ubiquitous cell phone. The ESI it contains can make or break a case. It can prove that a plaintiff was harassed or suffered severe emotional distress. It sometimes contains damning admissions of wrongdoing. And sometimes it can contains information that hurts the plaintiff’s case. What kind of ESI do lawyers look for on cell phones? We look for photos, text messages, iMessages, locational data, email, contacts, call logs, browsing history, voicemail-to-text messages, voice memos, calendar items, and the list goes on. Think of a cell phone as potentially containing a thousand exhibits that will be used at trial. There are basically three rules to remember about your phone if you think you have a case against your current or former employer: first, don’t delete anything, second, don’t use it to talk about your case, and third, don’t send or post any messages that make you look silly, stupid, greedy or dishonest.