EDI 2009 Smaller Stakes Litigation

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EDI 2009 Smaller Stakes Litigation

  1. 1. E-Discovery In Smaller Stakes Cases Hon. Joseph R. Slights, III Superior Court of Delaware
  2. 2. The Case Management Order <ul><li>The Court’s First Contact With Counsel </li></ul><ul><ul><li>After last responsive pleading is filed </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Letter to counsel setting the case management conference </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sets forth a “to do” list prior to the conference </li></ul></ul>
  3. 3. The “To Do” List <ul><li>Meet and confer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Same side of the v </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is a coordinator necessary? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>How best to coordinate/communicate among the parties and with the Court </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Strategies for more efficient discovery </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Joint defense? </li></ul></ul></ul>
  4. 4. The “To Do” List <ul><li>Meet and Confer </li></ul><ul><ul><li>With the other side of the v </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Early ADR, motion practice, discovery sequencing, amendments to pleadings, additional parties, further court conferences (status), pretrial conference, trial date </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>E-discovery </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Scope (this is critical and requires much advance thought and planning) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>IT issues (exchange system info) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Format (with emphasis on cost containment) </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Protective Orders and Claw Back Orders </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  5. 5. The “To Do” List <ul><ul><ul><li>E-discovery (cont’d) </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Outside vendor vs. in house IT </li></ul></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Sequencing E-discovery with Agreed Upon Limits </li></ul></ul></ul></ul>
  6. 6. The Conference <ul><li>Come With Agreements (Judges LOVE This) </li></ul><ul><li>Be Prepared to Make Your Pitch On E-Discovery </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Nature of Case and how e-discovery fits in </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Limitations of clients (costs and staffing, business interruption) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What Do You Really Need? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Is the Court’s Default Standard Acceptable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Suggestions to modify </li></ul></ul></ul>
  7. 7. The Key <ul><li>Don’t Allow The Litigation (i.e. E-discovery) To Consume The Controversy </li></ul><ul><li>EDUCATE THE COURT – be VERY specific regarding issues in controversy, systems, cost, burden </li></ul><ul><ul><li>much more useful than citations to case authority </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Emphasize proportionality – American College of Trial Lawyers findings </li></ul><ul><li>Know your State Court’s Rules – e.g. is there a distinction between “reasonably accessible” and “not reasonably accessible” as in Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(b)(2)(B)? </li></ul><ul><li>Other Ways To Get The Same Information? </li></ul><ul><li>Rolling Production and Sampling </li></ul><ul><li>Capture Data vs. Removal of Hard Drives </li></ul>
  8. 8. The Case Management Order <ul><li>Do Not Leave The Case Management Conference Without Asking For: </li></ul><ul><li>Clawback Order </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Outlining process for claiming inadvertent production of privileged material </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>And process for getting it back </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sample in materials </li></ul></ul><ul><li>E-discovery, including </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Preservation of ESI </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope of production (custodians, search terms, time period, file types) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Scope of discovery </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Assertion of privilege and confidentiality </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Allocation of costs </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Reach agreement or subject to Court’s default standard </li></ul></ul>

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