Pennsylvania Amends Rules to Incorporate Discovery of Electronically Stored Information

Last week, Pennsylvania became the most recent state to amend its civil rules to address the discovery of electronically stored information.  Unlike many other states, however, Pennsylvania’s Civil Procedural Rules Committee has made clear in its explanatory comment that despite the adoption of the term “electronically stored information,” “there is no intent to incorporate federal jurisprudence surrounding the discovery of electronically stored information.”  Instead, “[t]he treatment of such issues is to be determined by traditional principles of proportionality under Pennsylvania law . . . .”  The comment goes on to more fully discuss the “Proportionality Standard” and its application to electronic discovery, as well as “Tools for Addressing Electronically Stored Information,” including, for example, “sampling, cost sharing and non-waiver agreements.”

The amendments affect rules 4009.1, 4009.11, 4009.12, 4009.21, 4009.23, and 4011, although in several cases the amendments affect only the notes, and make no changes to the substance of the rule.

The amendments are effective August 1, 2012.

For a copy of the court’s order adopting the amendments, click here.

For a copy of the Civil Procedural Rules Committee’s explanatory comment, “Explanatory Comment – Electronically Stored Information,” click here.

For a copy of the substance of the relevant amendments, click here.

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