Judge Scheindlin and Ralph Losey Talk ED-ucation

The e-discovery education discussion ramped up consideraby last week when Judge Shira Scheindlin and Ralph Losey did a one-hour audio podcast on the subject. The full text of the talk can be found on Ralphs blog at http://ralphlosey.wordpress.com/2009/03/23/judge-shira-scheindlin-and-i-speak-on-e-discovery-and-education/ and it is fascinating reading but there were several comments  made that I think bear specia mention. 

The first was Judge Scheindlin mentioning that she and Professor Daniel Capra have written a supplement to their ED casebook entitled Supplementary Materials on Electronic Discovery: For Use in Civil Procedure Courses. It is essentially a slimmed down version of the full book and has been released by West as part of its Nutshell series. It is designed to simplify e-discovery for general practitioners and be used as an educational tool in short classes or as part of a larger course, as the title implies.  I’ve already ordered my copy and encourage you to do the same ….. it’s gone right to the top of our ED reading list.

Second is a quote from Judge Scheindlin I found of interest:  “We used to say there’s e-discovery as if it was a subset of all discovery. But now there’s no other discovery”

Now with all due respect to the Judge, I have to disagree. First, of course, we still have Depositions and Request for Admissions and Subpeona Dices Tecum and …well, you get the point.  But also, down here in the the streets and out here in the fields, if I may mix a musical metaphor, where the people who don’t make it into Federal court with mega-milion dollar cases are, to paraphrase  Chris Berman , rumblin and stumblin through plentiful paper productions, it’s not all about e-discovery at all.

All those general practitioners Ralph mentions on his bog are working with general counsel and city attorneys who still haven’t entered the digital era and routinely practice with bankers boxes of paper and not jewel cases of CD’s.  I live in New Orleans … believe me, it’s true.

And that’s the part of the education system that’s missing I think. Those people need the Judges new book …but first they need a discussion about technoogy in general. Ralph and the Judge mentiona t one point that this isn’t so necessary becaue the new generation is computer savvy. Well yes but they are still the NEW generation. What about the NOW generation?  

Well there’s hope yet for todays lawyers.  At least in New Orleans. Tomorrow, I’ll be speaking with local attorney Ernie Svenson at the Louisiana State Bar Association second annual Solo & Small Firm Conference  in New Orleans and our subject is  Electronic Discovery for Solos & Small Firms.    We’ll be mentioning Ralph and Craig and Judge Scheindlins latest opinion  …  come on down if you’re town.


1 comment so far

  1. Ralph Losey on

    You do make some good points. But what I think the judge meant is that all the paper the vast majority of lawyers are shuffling around in productions was not handwritten with pen and ink. They were created on computers and then printed out. The original used to be the the gold standard in law and evidence, not downgraded cheap knock-offs. So you both have a point and I do agree that the judge may not fully appreciate how anti-computer and thus anti-discovery many lawyers are.

    One final thing, she has 3 bks coming out, the full case bk, the supplement for civ pro classes you would prob not like, and the third one, the Nutshell, that hasn’t come out yet. That is why I did not link to the Nutshell, West does not even have an announcement for it any where. You might like the Nutshell; let me know if you get it. I may blog about it too.

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