As discovery in litigation evolved from paper to digital, old rules of civil procedure could not keep pace. Thus, in 2006, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were revised to specifically addressed e-discovery and electronically stored information. Some are saying that these revised rules are already outmoded, and the federal judiciary’s Rules Committee is in the midst of a comprehensive review to determine whether further changes are needed.
Meanwhile, state courts have written their own e-discovery rules, spurred in part by the federal revisions. As of February 2012, all but 13 states have adopted their own e-discovery rules or were about to. (Just last week, the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania adopted new rules for e-discovery.)
So where are we and where are we headed with regard to rules governing e-discovery? Thomas Y. Allman, the chair emeritus of Working Group 1 of the Sedona Conference, has written an encyclopedic guide to e-discovery rules, E-Discovery Standards in Federal and State Courts after the 2006 Federal Amendments, and allowed it to be published at the K&L Gates Electronic Discovery Law blog. A retired general counsel, Allman is co-editor of the PLI Electronic Discovery Deskbook (2011) and an adjunct professor at the University of Cincinnati College of Law.
In this 68-page article, Mr. Allman surveys the sources of e-discovery standards, discusses the applications of these standards to key e-discovery issues, and highlights the uniformity he sees emerging on many issues. In an appendix, he summarizes e-discovery rulemaking in individual states and the District of Columbia.
More than merely a review of procedural rules, this article is a guide to the current state of e-discovery law. For any legal professional involved in e-discovery, Mr. Allman’s article is well worth a read.