In Ponte v. Sage Bank, No. 14-115 S (D.R.I. Sept. 22, 2015), the district court entered the “undeniably severe sanction” of dismissal against a plaintiff, Ponte, who, after receiving inadvertently disclosed privileged material, used that material to the detriment of the defendant, Sage, and defied the court’s order for the return of the privileged material.  During the pendency of the litigation, one of Sage’s employees, Barry, uploaded Sage’s data to ShareFile, an off-site repository for retention and exchange of files, and granted access to Ponte.  Barry apparently did not intend to grant access to Sage’s privileged information.  Thereafter, Ponte told his counsel that he had access to a privileged memo from Sage’s counsel to Sage’s executives in which Sage’s counsel analyzed the strengths and weaknesses of Ponte’s case.  Ponte’s counsel, Mulhearn, instructed Ponte to do nothing with the information.  Mulhearn then sent an email to Sage’s counsel warning him “to be careful what you ask for,” attaching Sage’s privileged memo.  The court granted Sage’s motion for TRO and preliminary injunction, and enjoined Ponte and his agents from reviewing, using, or disclosing any communications between Sage and its counsel.  The court also ordered that Ponte return the information to Sage and to destroy all copies.  Sage then filed a motion for sanctions, which was the subject of an evidentiary hearing.  The court found that Ponte reviewed the privileged information “in defiance of” the advice of his counsel; that Ponte’s attorney acted “brazenly” by using the information to threaten Sage; that Ponte subsequently engaged in efforts to cover his tracks by altering the document and deleting emails with Barry discussing Ponte’s access to the information; that Ponte had not complied with the court’s order for the return of the privileged information; and that Ponte testified untruthfully at the evidentiary hearing.  The court held that “this case [is] the rare one involving the requisite level of misconduct to warrant dismissal as a sanction.”