There are plenty of cases in which courts provided sanctions for a failure to preserve and produce relevant electronically-stored information (ESI). But there are practically no such cases involving text messages. As texting becomes more prevalent and important, this area will continue to evolve. However, as a general proposition, there is usually not much relevant data to produce outside of the criminal area because of the more limited storage for text messages that mobile devices hold.
A recent case (but still involving a criminal matter) provided an adverse inference instruction. We updated our article involving text message discovery, which describes the background, technology and related limitations.