November 01, 2015

Dallas Employment Lawyer: Evidence Spoliation

Courts punish litigants for destroying evidence.

Once a lawsuit is underway, and sometimes even before then, a party has a duty to preserve relevant evidence. Destroying evidence after this duty applies can result in serious court sanctions. Dallas employment lawyer Keith Clouse explains.

In litigation, a party must provide the other party with requested documents, even if the documents reveal unfavorable information. For example, in a non-compete dispute, if a company asks a former employee to provide any emails the employee sent soliciting business from the company’s clients, the former employee must turn those over, even if they reveal that the employee violated a non-solicitation agreement.

Sometimes individuals believe that destroying such documents can keep bad facts from being revealed. But, this sort of information often emerges in other ways, such as when the person testifies under oath or the document is provided by another individual. When that happens, not only is the party’s credibility crushed, but the party may suffer serious repercussions. Courts punish litigants for destroying evidence, and judges have broad discretion to impose a variety of sanctions, including ones so severe that a party cannot prevail in a lawsuit.

This article is presented by the Dallas employment law lawyers at Clouse Dunn LLP. To speak to an employment law attorney about workplace matters, send an email to or call (214) 239-2705.


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