Sometimes it seems like I've written so much about certain topics there shouldn't be anything left to write -- or at least not anything you haven't read at least once before. E-discovery is one of those topics, and I find myself writing about it yet again. Nonetheless, someone probably needs to hear it again, so here we go...
This morning I came across a blog post written in July by Cary Calderone, an attorney and Microsoft certified systems engineer at Sand Hill Law, about the State of California's then brand-new Electronic Discovery Act. The act essentially mimics what is found in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure concerning the discovery of electronically stored information, and Calderone reminds readers that they no longer can say they don't need to worry about legal holds and record retention because they don't practice in federal court.
Not only is that lame excuse gone, the California rule requires that attorneys from all sides of a litigation matter will need to "meet and confer" 45 days prior to the Case Management Conference. This means they will need to discuss ESI and what/how it will be preserved and exchanged during the discovery process for state legal matters.
Thus, it will benefit those attorneys to know what ESI they have, where it is and how to get it. This is where technology will come in handy. And this, he says, is where those who have procrastinated on e-discovery readiness may benefit. Most of the software out there now is better and less expensive than it was when the federal rules were first amended.
Yes, the software is better and cheaper now, but the firms that are just now getting started will also have two-plus years of information to catalog and process. Either way, doing the work is important. Otherwise, you could wind up with hefty discovery fines on your hands.