In an article appearing in the February 18-24 issue of the Puget Sound Business Journal, Martha Dawson points out that case law regarding e-discovery is slow to develop and often confusing. Additionally, federal guidelines that apply to document discovery were originally drafted in 1939 prior to today’s computer environment. In the article, she discusses several issues under consideration as part of efforts to modernize e-discovery definitions and methodology within federal rules. Click here to view a .pdf of the article.
On January 28, 2005 in Dallas, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee held the second of three public hearings on the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to electronic discovery. The committee heard testimony from 18 individuals. Following are some highlights of the testimony. The complete testimony can be found at here. Read More
On August 10, 2004, the Standing Committee on Rules of Practice and Procedure approved for publication and public comment several proposed amendments to the Federal Civil Rules that specifically address electronic discovery. The public comment period for these proposed amendments is now nearing its end. The last date for submissions is February 15, 2005.
A copy of the proposed amendments, and the corresponding Committee Notes, can be found here. Comments may be submitted electronically to the Secretary of the Standing Committee, via a link on the federal rulemaking website.
On January 12, 2005 in San Francisco, the Civil Rules Advisory Committee heard testimony from 15 witnesses. This was the first of three public hearings on the proposed amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure relating to electronic discovery. The following are some highlights of the testimony. The complete testimony can be found here. Read More
The first of three scheduled public hearings regarding proposed changes to the FRCP addressing electronic discovery took place in San Francisco January 12, 2005. Fifteen members of the legal community took advantage of the opportunity to publicly voice their views of the proposed amendments.
The diverse group included in-house counsel from corporations such as Microsoft and Intel, private practitioners – including both plaintiff and defense attorneys, and a computer forensic specialist. Participants commented on what they saw as the pros and cons of a series of proposed amendments to the FRCP designed to provide additional guidance to the courts and litigants engaged in the ever-growing area of e-discovery.
The rules of civil procedure are once again being amended, this time to update them for document production in the digital age. Judge Shira A. Scheindlin talks about what the proposed changes will mean for in-house counsel. She also gives advice and her top ten tips on conducting e-discovery in the current murky shadow of Rule 26, to avoid garnering sanctions for inadvertently violating a discovery order, or worse yet charges of spoliation of evidence. [Subscription to the ACC Docket required.]
BusinessWeek Online, December 20, 2004
Tort reform is a hot topic again. Taking advantage of the most favorable political climate in years, business lobbyists are pushing for new federal laws that would mop up the asbestos mess, cap medical malpractice damages, and help companies steer class actions out of hostile state courts.
But there’s another legal reform campaign that has attracted much less attention — yet could be more significant than any of these measures. It is Corporate America’s effort to get the Judicial Conference of the U.S. (JCU), the obscure group that makes the rules governing lawsuits, to enact special new procedures for electronic evidence. This broad category of digital information includes spreadsheets, databases, memos, letters, PowerPoint presentations — and most important, the e-mail messages that have recently plagued so many companies in court. Read the entire article at BusinessWeek Online.
By Tricia Bishop, The Baltimore Sun
December 27, 2004
Brian L. Moffet said he saw the writing on the wall about three years ago. The attorney was arguing a national class- action suit with 50,000 pieces of paper entered into evidence when the judge asked, “Where are the e-mails?”
That sent Moffet into scramble mode.
“It was the first time I realized it was something that was going to have to be addressed,” recalled the lawyer with Gordon, Feinblatt, Rothman, Hoffberger & Hollander of Baltimore.
Read the entire article posted on latimes.com. [Subscription required.]
E-discovery gurus George Socha and Dennis Kennedy discuss their simplified 8-step approach to effective discovery of electronic information [assessment, project management, forensics, conversion and storage, records management, search, integrating discovery into daily operations and trial prep] in this November 2004 Discovery Resources post.