The Lost Emails of the IRS- Can Affect Your Case
Why? Because it will set a standard for litigation that companies or government agencies conveniently losing critical evidence is acceptable. This will be a real problem for people bringing employment cases for discrimination, retaliation, whistle-blowing or lost commissions. The Plaintiff, the person bringing the case, generally has the burden of proof. He or she has the obligation to demonstrate to a judge or jury either documentary evidence or witness testimony that he or she has been wronged.
During the course of a lawsuit, the Plaintiff has the opportunity to obtain company or agency documents relevant or that will even lead to relevant evidence for the case. If the Defendant destroys those documents, the Plaintiff can ask the judge for an inference that the documents would have been detrimental to the Defendant’s case. Even if granted, that inference may not be nearly as powerful as the fact-finder seeing the actual documents.
If the IRS destroys emails under the pressure of Congress, wouldn’t they be less concerned about destroying documentary evidence in an employee’s retaliation case? If the IRS gets away with it here, it will forever get away with it. Other agencies will follow. Certainly, large corporations will follow as well.
I urge everyone to put politics aside and contact his or her Congressional representative and U.S. Senators to express heart-felt anger and towards the IRS. This issue will affect anyone bringing a lawsuit.