Also the text messages between Saloner and his lover and school faculty member, Deborah Gruenfeld, have been retrieved. Here is the Vanity Fair account of that lawsuit filed by former school faculty member and Gruenfeld's estranged husband, James Phills. Incidentally, for retrieving that texting as well as emails, Stanford is countersuing Phills.
Increasingly, text messages are being extracted from mobile devices for e-discovery. The legal issues that potentially raises are more complex than associated with email.
For Bloomberg Law, Gareth Evans of Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher and Veeral Gosalia of FTI Technology have produced a white paper. Its title is "The Coming Storm: Companies must be prepared to deal with text messages on employee mobile devices." (You have to register with Bloomberg Law to download it free.)
Evans and Gosalia point out:
"It can be difficult and very expensive to extract and collect text messages from mobile devices ... [they] may require collecting the device from the employee - which can be challenging and can pose delicate privacy issues ... when text messages do not go through company-managed enterprise servers or do not have any enterprise-based controls, companies may not be able to enforce records retention and legal hold policies for technical or logistical reasons."
The authors also discuss relevant case law. One has been "Hosch v. BAE Systems Information Solutions, Inc."
Given that many employees bundle personal and business texting on the same mobile device, employers might find it smart to either ban that or recommend an app which separates the two. In addition, organizations have to create policies for BYO devices.
Obviously, warnings about texting as discoverable are being delivered to employers and employees by the legal and IT departments. But those kinds of words of caution didn't prevent so many dumb postings on email that later become evidence.
Therefore, we can look forward to lots of media articles, including in tabloids, which describe how defendants were stunned to find their texts become public during discovery.