In Shawe v. Elting, No. 487, 2016 (Del. Feb. 13, 2017), the Delaware Supreme Court affirmed a sanctions award of over $7 million against the appellant/plaintiff for theft of the appellee/defendant’s ESI and destruction of his own, conduct the Court of Chancery and the Delaware Supreme Court both called “unusually deplorable.”  Among other acts, plaintiff had broken into defendant’s office with a computer forensics expert to image defendant’s hard drive; used remote access to defendant’s computer at least 44 times on 29 different occasions to access 19,000 emails, including 12,000 privileged communications between defendant and her lawyer; destroyed his own cell phone under the pretense that the phone had been dropped in a cup of soda and found in a drawer with rat droppings; deleted nearly 19,000 files from his laptop; and lied in discovery, at trial, and in post-trial briefings, leading the court to make false factual findings.  The Chancery Court sanctioned plaintiff 100% of defendant’s fees and expenses in bringing the sanctions motion plus 33% of the fees defendant incurred in litigating the merits of the underlying suit – a total of $7,103,755.  The Delaware Supreme Court affirmed:  plaintiff had deleted files from his laptop “in the face of two litigation hold notices, one of which he issued, and an expedited discovery order that permitted [defendant] to conduct forensic discovery of [plaintiff’s] laptop.”  The court found that the fact that most of the deleted files were recovered due to the laptop’s volume shadow copy system “[did] not negate [plaintiff’s] illicit intent.”  The court further held that the Chancery Court had not failed to afford criminal due process or abused its discretion in “impos[ing] a civil sanction against the plaintiff for his repeated lies under oath.”