Archive: May 8, 2007

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Grimm Provides Detailed Analysis of Evidentiary Issues Associated with Electronic Evidence
Discovery Savings: Going Native

Chief U.S. Magistrate Judge Grimm Provides Detailed Analysis of Evidentiary Issues Associated with Electronic Evidence

Lorraine v. Markel Am. Ins. Co., 241 F.R.D. 534 (D. Md. 2007)

In this case, the parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment but failed to comply with the requirement of Rule 56 that they support their motions with admissible evidence.  Chief United States Magistrate Judge Paul W. Grimm denied both motions without prejudice to allow resubmission with proper evidentiary support.  In this lengthy memorandum opinion, Magistrate Judge Grimm remarks that, although cases abound regarding the discoverability of electronic records, research failed to locate a comprehensive analysis of the many interrelated evidentiary issues associated with electronic evidence.  “Given the pervasiveness today of electronically prepared and stored records, as opposed to the manually prepared records of the past, counsel must be prepared to recognize and appropriately deal with the evidentiary issues associated with the admissibility of electronically generated and stored evidence.”  Magistrate Judge Grimm describes five distinct but interrelated evidentiary issues that govern whether electronic evidence will be admitted into evidence at trial or accepted as an exhibit in summary judgment practice, and counsels:

Although each of these rules may not apply to every exhibit offered, as was the case here, each still must be considered in evaluating how to secure the admissibility of electronic evidence to support claims and defenses.  Because it can be expected that electronic evidence will constitute much, if not most, of the evidence used in future motions practice or at trial, counsel should know how to get it right on the first try.  The Court hopes that the explanation provided in this memorandum order will assist in that endeavor.

View the full opinion on the court’s website, here.

Discovery Savings: Going Native

By James D. Sherman and Lori E. Steidl in the May 4, 2007 issue of ALM’s The Corporate Counselor.

"In today’s litigation world, corporate counsel struggle to contain the ever-increasing costs of document discovery. The explosion of electronically stored information is often a huge contributor to the expense of discovery. Consultants, vendors and e-discovery software can help bring greater efficiencies and cost savings to the process. But while there’s a dizzying array of options available, they’re not all created equal. Finding the right solution requires that you do your homework.

Before deciding to outsource your next electronic discovery request, take a moment to examine the review practices of your legal service provider or outside counsel. Many legal service providers and law firms are relying on outdated and expensive methods to collect and analyze data for litigation. For example, be wary of solutions that involve conversion of documents into TIFF or PDF format before an initial review for relevance of the underlying data takes place. This practice needlessly creates additional electronic "copies" of vast amounts of data, most of which ultimately prove to be irrelevant and thus are never produced or otherwise used. It may also undermine your ability to take advantage of certain useful characteristics of native format documents that are lost in the conversion process. A step as simple as using e-discovery software that facilitates processing and review of electronic documents in their native format can save your company a great deal of money when it comes to document discovery. "

Click here to read the entire story online.

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