The Associated Press recently turned to partner Martha Dawson as a source on new electronic discovery rules. The article, “Companies Face New Rules on Keeping Data,” appeared in national publications from The New York Times and The Wall Street Journal to other regional and online publications.
The new rules require that lawyers meet much earlier in the discovery process to discuss where the client’s data is stored and how accessible it is. This provision emphasizes the importance of being prepared ahead of time. Writes the AP reporter:
But Martha Dawson, a partner at the Seattle-based law firm of Preston Gates & Ellis LLP who specializes in electronic discovery, said companies will not have to alter how they retain their electronic documents. Rather, she said, they will have to do an “inventory of their IT system” in order to know better where the documents are. The new rules also provide better guidance on how electronic evidence is to be handled in federal litigation, including guidelines on how companies can seek exemptions from providing data that isn’t “reasonably accessible,” she said. This could actually reduce the burden of electronic discovery, she said.