Hey Shankapotamous, Read The Rule Book

OK, so last week Craig Ball reported on a  third year law student who asked him what was the minimum amount of e-discovery information he needed to learn in order to get by. And I’m willing to cut a third year law student a little slack because…well, actually, no I’m not and I’m glad Craig held him out for public scorn in his column, I would have published his name.

Why? Because here’s what happens when you those people graduate, pass the bar and start practicing.  The ABA Journal publishes an article about the Pension Committee decision and we get the following two comments:

Feb 23, 2010 7:34 AM CST

And the champagne corks pop at the electronic discovery support vendors’ boardrooms.

Feb 24, 2010 9:26 AM CST

Ditto to AndytheLawyer.  Lawyers have ethical obligations to clients, not to Judges who understandably *want* all potential evidence perfectly preserved.  But she never had to manage ediscovery or do so without the power of the government to force people to pay ***ungodly sums of money*** to properly preserve any potentially relevant information.  When Judge SS says she’ll write the check for the capture and processing costs—gee, no one ever mentions that in an opinion—then I’ll be impressed.  I wonder if a federal judge can afford to shell out $250k in preservation or processing costs for each ordinary case that lands in her court.  The ediscovery vendors must be making offers to the banks to buy their private jets off of them.

 Okay, listen up knuckleheads.  You don’t have to pay “ungodly sums of money” to properly preserve evidence. It’s called a document retention policy and if done properly and in a timely manner costs a modest amount and has an enormous ROI. Oh, yeah, and it gets done BEFORE the litigation is filed not after.  Way,  way before.  The amounts Judge Scheindlin is talking about are called “sanctions”.  Look it up JustALawyer. You’ll need to know the term if you ever get in front of one of those judges and spout this nonsense.

ED vendors and corporate jets?  I know a lot of the former and haven’t seen any of the latter. Mostly I find vendors want to work with smart clients which may explain your lack of exposure to them.  Ignorant comments like these are what fuel, well ignorance.  And like most ignorant people, when they don’t know what to do or when to do it, they blame judges and vendors and opponents  …  everyone but themselves. 

And oh by the way, you have ethical obligations to clients AND the court.  Might want to look that one up also JAL.  But be sure your malpractice premium is paid up first.  I’m guessing you’re gonna need it.


3 comments so far

  1. michael smith on

    Outstanding reference! Thanks for the astute post. $250K in preservation or processing costs? I’m wondering if JAL knows the going rate for a case full of ignorance?

  2. […] Great post from Tom O’Connor: […]

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