I was recently honored to get an advance copy of Managing E-Discovery and ESI, a wonderful new sourcebook from the American Bar Association authored by Michael Berman, Courtney Barton and the Honorable Paul Grimm, in conjunction with a stellar cast of contributors.
My first reaction to the breadth and scope of the book was simply "wow!" At over 800 pages, the book moves with assurance and expertise from pre-litigation through trial. Rather than having too many cooks in the kitchen, the numerous authors represent a collective wisdom about e-discovery, with each having niche areas of keen knowledge.
As the book notes, the lazy, hazy days of paper are simply gone forever - and there is no way to put the digital genie back in the bottle. All lawyers need to have a baseline knowledge of e-discovery and litigators need far deeper expertise. As Judge Facciola asks in his history of electronic discovery, "Did anyone get the license plate of the rocket ship that hit me?" All of us who have been involved in the evolution of e-discovery feel much the same way.
Lawyers who are trying to deepen their understanding of e-discovery will find this book an invaluable resource. It is logically divided into eight parts:
- The Legal Groundwork
- A Primer on Buzzwords, Information Technology and Corporate Management Policies
- The Duty to Preserve - Trigger, Scope, Limits, Termination and Sanctions for Breach
- Production - Initial Disclosures and Discovery
- Unique Aspects of Privilege
- Discovery - Conferences of the Parties, Search Methodology, Depositions and Evidentiary Issues
- Costs, Cost Reduction, Cost Shifting and ADR
- Ethics, Cooperation and Reasonableness
Let me hasten to add that both e-discovery rookies and veterans will find this book a tremendous guide through the e-discovery labyrinth. "Geek talk" is carefully explained so the technophobic are not left behind as they read. Where principles are settled, the book makes that clear. Where controversy exists, the variances are explored with clarity.
This is a book you are likely to consult again and again as you face specific e-discovery issues and require expert guidance. I predict that a lot of lawyers will keep this book within easy reach for regular consultation! I know I will.
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