Phase Two of the Seventh Circuit’s Electronic Discovery Pilot Program ended in May and the Final Report on that phase has now been issued. According to that report, much was accomplished during Phase Two, including the creation of several subcommittees such as the Criminal Discovery Subcommittee, dedicated to developing “resources to educate criminal practitioners about the use of electronic discovery,” and the Technology Subcommittee, which was “formed … to keep up with rapidly evolving technology and to further advance the bench’s and bar’s understanding and use of new technology in the electronic record retention and discovery field.” A Web Site Subcommittee was also formed which was responsible for the creation of www.DiscoveryPilot.com, a valuable informational resource on the Pilot Program and related topics. Phase Two also included a survey about the Pilot Program and its Principles, the results of which are shared in the Final Report. Notably, according to the report’s Executive Summary, “[b]oth the Phase One and Phase Two surveys’ results show that in those cases in which the Principles had a perceived effect, those effects were overwhelmingly positive with respect to assisting attorneys’ cooperation and enhancing their ability to resolve disputes amicably, their ability to obtain relevant documents, and their ability to zealously represent their clients, as well as providing fairness to the process.”
Phase Three of the Pilot Program has now begun and continues the program’s focus on improving the e-discovery process, including by continuing to make information available at the program’s website (see link above) and by continuing to focus on education. New subcommittees may also be formed. Also during Phase Three, “the newly created E-Mediation Subcommittee will continue its work to explore the creation of a program to provide free mediation of electronic discovery disputes in cases pending in the District.”
For those interested in all the details, including the Phase Two survey results, more information about the Committee (and subcommittees), including meeting minutes, or copies of presentations about the Pilot Program, the Final Report is available at www.DiscoveryPilot.com.