In Volcan Group, Inc. v. Omnipoint Communications, Inc., No. 12-35217 (9th Cir. Jan. 9, 2014), the district court dismissed plaintiff’s breach of contract action as a sanction for what the court described as widespread spoliation of evidence.  Among other things, plaintiff’s former vice president admitted to destroying and altering his own notes related to the parties’ dealings, and further detailed how other of plaintiff’s employees knowingly destroyed engineering notebooks containing potentially relevant evidence.  The court also found that plaintiff had failed to preserve a copy of its web-based database – which it used to track the progress of its projects with defendant – as it existed at the time of the termination of the relevant contract.  The court concluded that dismissal was warranted because these discovery violations made it “impossible to be confident that the parties would ever have access to the true facts.”  The Ninth Circuit affirmed, holding that the record supported a finding of willful spoliation and showed that the district court did not abuse its discretion.  Although it acknowledged that the dismissal was “harsh,” the appellate court reasoned that it would not disturb the district court’s choice of sanction because it had no “definite and firm conviction that the district court committed a clear error of judgment in the conclusion it reached.”