EDD-ucating Yourself About Electronic Discovery
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.
- 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.
- The Amendments Themselves (PDF File) should be your first stop. The full text of the rules are set forth here, along with lengthy commentary on what is to be expected under the new rules (Note: this file contains all of the proposed amendments, not just the ones dealing with ESI -- those rules begin on Page 103).
- The 2006 Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure is our favorite summary article. It's from Past LPM Chair and Philadelphia lawyer Carl Roberts and provides a great summary of the amendments to the rules, and what they mean for lawyers.
- Working Through the Practical Implications of the Amended Federal Rules of Civil Procedure – you’ll have to register for this free white paper, but it’s definitely worth the effort. The article offers a great chart describing the rule, its purpose, and the realities surrounding its implementation.
Cases - There are several good resources focusing on case law relating to electronic discovery issues:
- Applied Discovery's Case Summaries lets you view cases by topic, jurisdiction or in alphabetical order. You can also sign up for e-mail alerts when new case summaries are added to the Library.
- Sensei Enterprises E-Evidence Cases is where Sensei Enterprises, the company of LPM regulars Sharon Nelson and John Simek, features a fully-searchable case database on its website.
- Cricket Technologies Case Index is another great case index. You must be a registered user to use the Case Index; fortunately, registration is free.
- Annotated Case Law on Electronic Discovery is EDD expert Ken Withers' outline of EDD cases.
Articles, Podcasts, Seminars and Webinars - Here's a sampling from the many articles, audios and online seminars on EDD that are freely available.
- The Sedona Principles Addressing Electronic Document Production is probably the most influential document in all of electronic discovery. There are other resources at http://www.thesedonaconference.org/content/miscFiles/publications_html?grp=wgs110.
- LawPRO Magazine's Electronic Discovery Special Issue has a great collection of general articles, giving full and accessible coverage, with a bit of a Canadian focus. There's also a supplemental page of useful resources at http://www.practicepro.ca/practice/SuppRes2eDiscov.asp.
- Fios Podcasts on Demand is a treasure trove of audio seminars/podcasts featuring experts on a great variety of EDD topics. One of the best set of resources on EDD that you can find.
- Craig Ball -- Articles on E-Discovery contains 17 articles on electronic discovery, presentation technology, cyber-sleuthing and more. Pay attention to his combined article five on EDD from Craig Ball as well as Metadata: Beyond "Data About Data" article it has great information on the subject of metadata.
- Sensei Enterprise's Publications List gives you links to a long list of EDD articles from the EDD team of Sharon Nelson and John Simek, including a link to their book, with Bruce Olson, called The Electronic Evidence and Discovery Handbook: Forms, Checklists and Guidelines (American Bar Association, 2006).
- Ross Kodner's Electronic Discovery Presentation Slides provides coverage of legal, technical and practical EDD issues from legal tech maven Ross Kodner.
- Rob Robinson's EDD Presentation Videos "Clausewitz and eDiscovery" and "Aesop's Discovery?’Belling the Cat' and Electronic Discovery" take a thoughtful look at electronic discovery in an engaging video format.
- LPT Virtual Roundtable: A Gold Mine of Electronic Discovery Expertise: A Conversation Among Veterans of Electronic Discovery Battles required a very big table to seat all of the EDD veterans who shared their collective, practical experience in this well-regarded article.
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..
- Applied Discovery – Applied Discovery offers white papers, case summaries , and free case summary alerts on e-discovery rulings. You’ll also find a listing of relevant court rules from around the country , articles , and a free newsletter.
- Fios provides a wide range of useful educational resources.
- Kroll Ontrack - offers a similarly generous collection of legal resources including forms, newsletters and other information.
- Litigation Support Vendors Association , while not an e-discovery vendor, has good information, links and job listings.
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.