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The Strongest Links

EDD-ucating Yourself About Electronic Discovery

October 2006

The date the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will take effect is fast approaching. To learn more about the intricacies of e-discovery Dennis Kennedy and Tom Mighell have collected links to portals, resources, blogs, cases and more on this topic.

It was back in July 2004 (http://www.abanet.org/lpm/lpt/articles/slc07041.html) when Tom published the first Strongest Links article on the subject of electronic discovery as part of an influential EDD-themed issue of Law Practice Today.  Since that time, the electronic evidence landscape has changed considerably, and EDD is more important that ever.  With December 1 -- the date the amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will take effect -- fast approaching, we thought it would be a good idea to revisit those links, and provide an update to those of you who are still learning about the intricacies of e-discovery.  Which, really, is probably all of us.

Portals - great starting points where you can find lots of information and pointers to other resources.

  • DiscoveryResources.org reigns as the best one-stop shop Internet resource on electronic discovery. Julia Wotipka has done an amazing job with this educational site produced by EDD vendor Fios, Inc. From articles and columns (including one that we write with Evan Schaeffer) to webinars, podcasts and forms, you can find almost anything you want about electronic discovery here. (See disclosure statement below).
  • Law.com's Electronic Data Discovery gives you the answer to the question "what does the extra D in EDD stand for?" Law.com uses this page as a handy place to collect its EDD articles from across its many publications.
  • Applied Discovery's Law Library is the home of white papers, articles, case summaries, model forms and more.

General Resources

  • Wikipedia on Electronic Discovery gives you the basic definition and some useful starter links. Expect the information for this entry to grow and become more valuable over time.
  • KenWithers.com is the home page of EDD expert Ken Withers and is loaded with useful information and resources. We especially recommend Ken's list of links at http://www.kenwithers.com/links/index.html.
  • ARMA International – This association for Information Management Professionals offers loads of great information on electronic records, compliance, and risk management. Note: you’ll have to pay for most of the publications offered here.
  • Federal Judicial Center 's List of Resources for Civil Cases collects useful resources and forms as well as linking to a similar collection of resources for criminal cases.
  • Computer Forensics Resources covers the companion topic of computer forensics. Every lawyer who deals with electronic discovery must have a basic understanding of the underlying technologies.  This "Strongest Links" article by Dennis Kennedy from June 2005 has the links you need to become a veritable CSI Computer Forensics Expert.  Okay, maybe not.
  • Socha Consulting is the home page of George Socha, one of the premier experts on digital discovery.  His yearly electronic discovery survey is a must-read for anyone who wants to understand the scope of the EDD industry and the companies involved.  His 2006 EDD Survey was recently released. You can also find information there about the Socha Electronic Discovery Reference Model Project.
  • Electronic Discovery Resources is Dennis Kennedy's collection of helpful links on a variety of EDD issues, including his. His blog posts on EDD can be found at http://www.denniskennedy.com/archives/cat_electronic_discovery.html and a PDF of his slides from his presentation on EDD Trends can be found at http://www.denniskennedy.com/pdfs/Kennedy2006EDDTrendsppt.pdf.
  • Technorati Tag "Electronic Discovery"  lets those into the RSS thing and enjoy receiving blog posts in your newsreader, subscribe to the "electronic discovery" tag at Technorati and watch the news come directly to you.

Weblogs -- Surprisingly, there have not been a lot of weblogs on the subject of EDD.  However, those weblogs that do discuss the topic are terrific. 

  • Electronic Discovery Law is published by the firm of Preston, Gates & Ellis. The blog primarily analyzes court decisions on e-discovery issues.  You'll also find posts on the new amendments, as well as an amazing e-discovery case database that allows you to tailor your search to any one (or more) of 19 different attributes of electronic evidence.
  • Electronic Discovery and Evidence provides regular commentary on electronic discovery from one of the foremost authorities on EDD, Michael Arkfeld. 
  • Information Governance Engagement Area is probably the best place on the Internet to find the latest news on electronic discovery and the very newest info on EDD technology developments.  It's published by Rob Robinson, "with the goal of aggregating key compliance and electronic discovery news for further review, study, and consideration by legal and corporate professionals."  It's a must-read for news on electronic documents.
  • Sound Evidence (E-Discovery Simplified) is authored by Mary Mack, Technology Counsel and Director of Fios, Inc., a major e-discovery provider.  She's well-positioned to talk about the subject of EDD, being both a lawyer and a vendor of electronic evidence services.
  • Evan Schaeffer's Illinois Trial Practice Blog covers electronic discovery on a regular basis. Evan co-authors the Thinking E-Discovery column with Tom and Dennis.
  • The Estrin Report is a group blog created for professional paralegals that often covers electronic discovery topics.

Amendments to the FRCP -- Every lawyer should be aware of the new amendments concerning Electronically Stored Information (ESI).  Fortunately, there is no shortage of information to be found on the Internet on this subject.

Cases - There are several good resources focusing on case law relating to electronic discovery issues:

Articles, Podcasts, Seminars and Webinars - Here's a sampling from the many articles, audios and online seminars on EDD that are freely available.

Vendors -- there are a lot of vendors offering e-discovery services -- a lot.  At last count, over 5,000 companies were offering some type of EDD service.  What sets the following apart is their desire to educate lawyers and others on the issues -- the resources maintained by these sites are terrific and set a high standard and a great example of what we like to see from vendor sites..

Conclusion: There's a heckuva lot to learn about electronic discovery. If you are feeling a little overwhelmed by EDD, there's good reason for that feeling. However, the good news is that there are tons of very high quality free resources on EDD easily reachable via your browser. Spend some time exploring this links and you'll become well-"edducated" about EDD.

DISCLOSURE: DiscoveryResources.org and Fios are sponsor of Dennis's blog and website.

About the Author

Tom Mighell is Senior Counsel and Litigation Technology Support Coordinator a Cowles & Thompson in Dallas.  He publishes the Internet legal research and technology weblog Inter Alia , and is the current Chair of ABA TECHSHOW 2008.  He and Dennis Kennedy talk about legal technology, with a focus on the Internet, in The Kennedy-Mighell Report .

About the Author

Dennis Kennedy is a technology lawyer, legal technology consultant, and well-known blogger based in St. Louis, Missouri. An award-winning author and frequent speaker, Dennis has written extensively on the technology of electronic discovery and co-authors the "Thinking E-Discovery" column at DiscoveryResources.org. His website and blog are well-regarded resources on legal technology and electronic discovery topics. He is a member of the Council of the ABA's Law Practice Management Section and the Webzine Board.   He podcasts with Tom Mighell about legal technology, with a focus on the Internet, in The Kennedy-Mighell Report.