Webinar on Most Important Cases of 2008

Browning Marean and I will be doing a webinar on the most important e-discovery decisions of 2008 on this coming Friday at noon Central time.  Sponsored by Anacomp’s Caselogistix , the one hour session will concentrate on what we feel are the most important case rulings to be handed down this year. My own opinion is that these decisions can be broken down into several main categories: search technology, format sanctions and ethical responsibilities. 

The first theme is illustrated by the decision in Victor Stanley v. Creative Pipe, where J. Grimm held that holds that the selection and implementation of a proper search requires technical and even scientific knowledge, stating “[F]or lawyers and judges to dare opine that a certain search term or terms would be more likely to produce information than the terms that were used is truly to go where angels fear to tread.” 

This decision, which flows from earlier holdings in U.S. v O’Keefe and Equity Analytics v Lundin, make more important than ever to devise (and share at early meet & confer conferences) a defensible search strategy that can withstand judicial scrutiny.  In fact, as I’ve noted here before, some commentators, including George Socha, feel that Victor Stanley has created a duty to hire a technolgy consultant in ALL cases.

The second area is format, where cases like White v. Graceland College and Goodbys Creek v. Arch Insurance extend the preference for native file or near native productions that we first saw articulated by J. Waxse in the Willimas v Sprint decison in 2006. Next is sanctions, as cases such as Johnson v. Wells Fargo Home Mortgage and R & R Sails v Insurance extend the trend towards steep sanctions and advers jury instructions that we’ve seen since the Zubulake case.

Finally is ethics where cases like Qualcomm extend the sanctions area to include reporting counsel to a state bar association for ethical violations and the newer concept of the duty of cooperation encompassed by the Sedona Cooperation Proclamation and endorsed by Judge Grimm in Mancia v Mayflower.

So join us Friday as we dig a little deeper into each of these areas and give you our interpreation of these cases and what the mean for the future of both e-discovery in particular and litigation in general.


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