Virtual Meetings and Ephemeral Messages — Thinking about Preservation, Discovery, and Sanctions for Loss


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Approved for 1.0 hours of General CLE Credit including 1.0 hours of Technology.


The pandemic has made virtual meetings ubiquitous. At about the same time, so-called ephemeral (or “disappearing”) messaging apps that can be used for, among other things, business purposes have proliferated. These communication technologies raise significant issues about preservation of content and spoliation for its loss. This webinar will consider these and other issues involving virtual meetings and ephemeral messages.

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the nature of virtual meeting platforms and ephemeral messaging apps
  • Appreciate whether virtual meetings or ephemeral messages might be deemed to be business records or subject to a duty to retain
  • Recognize how a duty to preserve might arise for virtual meetings or ephemeral messages and whether sanctions might be imposed for a failure to preserve


Slides – Virtual Meetings and Ephemeral Messages — Thinking about Preservation, Discovery, and Sanctions for Loss

Article – Discovery Considerations When Choosing and Using Virtual Meeting Platforms and Ephemeral Apps


Ronald J. Hedges is a Senior Counsel with Dentons. He served as a United States Magistrate Judge in the District of New Jersey from 1986 to 2017. Ron is a frequent writer and speaker on various topics related to, among other things, electronic information and is the lead author of Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, Third Edition (Federal Judicial Center: 2017), He is also the Co-Senior Editor of The Sedona Conference Cooperation Proclamation: Resources for the Judiciary, Third Edition, Ron’s full biography is available at

Hon. Gisela Cardonne Ely is a Senior Judge with the Eleventh Judicial Circuit. Among other things, Judge Ely was a member of the Florida Conference of Circuit Judges and a Chair of that Conference. She is a graduate of Barry University and the University of Miami School of Law.

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