Spend Long Hours on Facebook? Claim You Can’t Work and You’re On the Hook!

A British Columbia Court agreed that a plaintiff’s late night computer usage on Facebook was relevant to his claim that he was unable to work. The Court ordered production of his computer hard drive to determine the period of the time he spent on Facebook between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m.

In Bishop v. Minichiello, [2009] B.C.J. No. 692 (S.C.J.), the plaintiff alleged that a brain injury caused him ongoing fatigue which prevented him from being able to maintain employment. The defendant brought a motion to obtain production of the plaintiff’s hard drive of his family computer so that he could have it analyzed in order to determine the periods of time that the plaintiff spend on Facebook between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m. each day. The defendant argued that the plaintiff’s late night computer usage was relevant to the lawsuit; the plaintiff had told a doctor that he spent a substantial amount of time on Facebook chatting with his friend late at night, and that his sleep varied with the time that his friend went to bed.

On examination for discovery, the plaintiff’s mother had confirmed that the plaintiff was the only person using the family computer between those hours. The plaintiff argued that, at times, his friends could use the computer once he logged into Facebook, and that the hard drive contained information that was irrelevant to the litigation and so should not be produced. Justice Melnick noted, however, that simply because the hard drive contains irrelevant information to the lawsuit does not alter a plaintiff’s duty to disclose all relevant information. The Court concluded:

  • Facebook login/logout records are documents stored in electronic form for the purpose of litigation;
  • The information sought by the defence could have significant probative value in relation to the plaintiff’s past and future wage loss;
  • The value of production was not outweighed by confidentiality, or time and expense required to produce the documents; and
  • The order sought was so narrow that it did not have the potential to unnecessarily delve into private aspects of the plaintiff’s life.

Given that not all of the information on the hard drive was relevant, and that privacy issues of other family members might be implicated, the Court ordered that an independent expert was to review the hard drive and isolate and produce the relevant information for the defendant’s counsel.

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Links to 2009 Willem C. Vis Moot Blogs/Photos

I am compiling a list of links to blogs and photographs of the 2009 Willem C. Vis Moot, below:

If you have Vis Moot blogs, links or photographs that you would like me to post, please email me at ppengelley@cozen.com. Congrats to all of you!

2009 Vis Moot Results – And the winner is…

Victoria University of Wellington, NZ (“VUW”). Way to go Kiwis! The 2009 VUW team is pictured below.

The 2009 Team

Second place goes to University of Pune, India.

The University of Ottawa received honourable mentions for “Best Claimant’s Memorandum” and “Best Oralist” (Brendon Green).

The VUW moot team has posted a blog in which they will be chronicling their Vienna experience.

2009 Vis Moot Update

The University of Ottawa did extremely well and is tied for 5th place, making it to the quarter finals where, after a very close round of argument, the round was taken by Griffith University, Australia. Final results to follow shortly.

Willem C. Vis Moot: Day 2 In Pictures

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Rooftop View of Vienna from the Juridicum
Rooftop View of Vienna from the Juridicum
Early morning arbitration at the DLA Piper Law Office
Early morning arbitration at the DLA Piper Law Office
Moot Hub - The Juridicum

Moot Hub - The Juridicum

City Street

City Street

More City Streets

More City Streets

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Juxtaposition of Old and New

Juxtaposition of Old and New

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Moot Time in Vienna: Day 1 in Pictures

View of the University of Vienna from the Law Office of Dorda Brugger Jordis

Structure of the Moot. The business community’s marked preference for resolving international commercial disputes by arbitration is the reason this method of dispute resolution was selected as the clinical tool to train law students through two crucial phases: the writing of memorandums for claimant and respondent and the hearing of oral argument based upon the memorandums — both settled by arbitral experts in the issues considered. The forensic and written exercises require determining questions of contract — flowing from a transaction relating to the sale or purchase of goods under the United Nations Convention on Contracts for the International Sale of Goods and other uniform international commercial law — in the context of an arbitration of a dispute under specified Arbitration Rules.

In the pairings of teams for each general round of the forensic and written exercises, every effort is made to have civil law schools argue against common law schools — so each may learn from approaches taken by persons trained in another legal culture. Similarly, the teams of arbitrators judging each round are from both common law and civil law backgrounds.

Organization and Sponsors of the Moot The Moot is organized by the Association for the Organization and Promotion of the Willem C. Vis International Commercial Arbitration Moot. Pace University is a founding member of the Association. The Moot is sponsored by the American Arbitration Association, the International Arbitral Centre of the Austrian Federal Economic Chamber, Australian Centre for International Commercial Arbitration, the Chartered Institute of Arbitrators, Chamber of National and International Arbitration of Milan, Chicago International Dispute Resolution Association, China International Economic and Trade Arbitration Commission (CIETAC), Court of International Commercial Arbitration, Romania, German Institution of Arbitration (DIS), the International Chamber of Commerce, JAMS, the London Court of International Arbitration, the Moot Alumni Association, the Singapore International Arbitration Centre, Arbitration Institute of the Stockholm Chamber of Commerce, Swiss Arbitration Association (ASA), Swiss Chambers’ Court of Arbitration and Mediation, the United Nations Commission on International Trade Law, and the University of Vienna Faculty of Law.

Myself and my co-arbitrators, Round 1

Myself and my co-arbitrators, Round 1

Easter in Vienna

Easter in Vienna

Easter Eggs Anyone?

Easter Eggs Anyone?

The Spanish Riding School

The Spanish Riding School

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Vienna at Night

Vienna at Night