Conference of Parties

A/k/a a “Meet and Confer”

April 18, 2024

Court Orders Parties to Enter Into an ESI Protocol

In the unusual context of a Delaware federal subpoena for discovery in a Spanish proceeding, a court ordered the parties “to meet and confer to discuss the scope of each request and to enter an agreed-upon ESI protocol and protective order.”  In re Application of FourWorld Capital Management LLC, Petitioner, for an […]
April 8, 2024

What Happens When Parties Fail to Negotiate a Privilege Log in Good Faith?

In Kyle Rayome v. ABT Electronics, 2024 WL 1435098 (N.D. Ill. 2024), the court wrote that it “would prefer this case not go to the dark place where attorneys on one side demand that the attorneys on the other side provide declarations in which they swear they are telling the truth about […]
February 1, 2024

Lawyer Refused to Appear on Camera in Virtual Deposition

In Client escapes sanction for lawyer’s refusal to appear on camera in Zoom deposition (abajournal.com)(Jan. 25, 2024,), Debra C. Weiss reported on Agnone v. Agnone, 2024 WL 242488 (Cal. App., 2d Dist., Jan. 23, 2024)(unreported).  She wrote: The opinion described what happened at the deposition. [Attorney] Katofsky was in the same room […]
January 19, 2024

“Self-Collection” May Be Reasonable Using Ralph Losey’s Dual-Protection System

“Self-collection” is often viewed as prohibited.  Abraham Maslow said that: “I suppose it is tempting, if the only tool you have is a hammer, to treat everything as if it were a nail.” This blog addresses a methodology designed by Ralph Losey, Esq., through which self-collection may be defensible.  At bottom, Ralph[1] […]
January 18, 2024

Defendant Who Participated in Text Message Exchange Was Not Prejudiced by Disclosure on the Eve of Trial

In Pointer v. State, 2024 WL 70556(Apl. Ct. Md. Jan. 5, 2024)(unreported),[1] the Appellate Court of Maryland held that disclosure of text messages the day before a criminal trial did not prejudice the defendant.  One important fact was that the defendant had participated in the text messaging and therefore was not surprised […]
January 11, 2024

The ESI Protocol: Your Word is Your Bond… Or, Is It?

One of the primary arguments against incorporating an “ESI Protocol” into a court order is that doing so may be the first step down the road to sanctions.[1] A COURT-ORDERED ESI PROTOCOL MAY BE CARVED IN STONE That fear of sanctions may be well-founded. For example, in her excellent 2023 ESI Protocol […]
December 23, 2023

JAMS: “Mediating E-Discovery Can Save Time and Money”

In Mediating E-Discovery Can Save Time and Money (jamsadr.com) (Nov. 10, 2023), the Hon. Gail A. Andler (ret.) and Daniel B. Garrie, Esq., wrote that “[o]ne approach” to remediating the costs of e-discovery “is using mediation to resolve some aspects of discovery disputes.”  They report “a recent rise” in the application of […]
December 16, 2023

How to Read a Load File

One role of an attorney handling ESI is to function as a translator between computer scientists and forensic experts, on the one hand, and laypersons, such as clients and Judges, on the other. When you look at a “load file” it can be intimidating. Figure 1 is the .dat part of a […]
December 7, 2023

Trial Notebooks: Flipping to the Right Spot Instead of Fishing in Folders

I have used trial notebooks since my first trial.  I use a similar process for depositions and for a Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) “meet and confer.” See “The Checklist Manifesto” and the Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) Conference. A recent ABA article provides an excellent guide to preparation of these organizational tools.  James W. McElhaney, The Trial […]
November 16, 2023

ABA Formal Opinion on Misconduct in Virtual Depositions

My legal ethics professor said that the best thing is to do the right thing for the right reason.  The next best thing is to do the right thing for the wrong reason. Surreptitiously feeding your client answers to deposition question in a remote deposition should be avoided because it is wrong.  […]
November 15, 2023

How to Avoid Contentious “Hit Report” Problems – Part III

Josh Gilliland’s Bow Tie law blog has often addressed the question of: “What happens when one party argues a producing party should produce all search term hits?”  His answer is “no,” production is not required until after review and culling.  See How to Avoid Contentious “Hit Report” Problems, and Hit Reports, citing, […]
November 13, 2023

More on “Modern Attachments,” “Pointers,” or Hyperlinked Documents – Humpty Dumpty and “Usability”

I have written several blogs about “modern attachments,” a/k/a “pointers or “hyperlinks.”[1]  So, I was interested to read Pursuit Credit Special Opportunity Fund, L.P. v. Krunchcash, LLC, 2023 WL 6465017 (Sup. Ct. N.Y. Co. Oct. 4, 2023)(unreported)(Cohen, J.), which cited several hyperlink cases that I was not aware of. One “modern attachment” […]
September 27, 2023

A Review of Sedona’s “Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Practice of Law” by The Hon. Xavier Rodriguez

“Artificial Intelligence (AI) and the Practice of Law,” by the Hon. Xavier Rodriguez, is available at 24 Sedona Conf. J. 783 (forthcoming 2023).[1]  The article focuses on issues that “practicing attorneys are likely to encounter and steps state bars and related entities should consider.” Id. at 786.  Sedona’s website states: Judge Rodriguez […]
September 8, 2023

Spoliation Motions Denied as Untimely – Another Wake-Up Call

In CSX Transportation, Inc. v. Spiniello Global, Inc., 2023 WL 5515979 (D. Md. Aug. 25, 2023)(Bredar, C.J.), the Court denied spoliation motions, in part because they were filed too late. The plaintiff owned and operated the coal shipment facility.  Defendants included the City of Baltimore and “Spiniello,” a contractor.  The dispute centered […]
July 5, 2023

Relevance Redactions Revisited

The issue of whether irrelevant material in a relevant document can be redacted when the document is produced in discovery has long been a hot topic.  See, e.g., Relevance Redactions Rejected – Rule 26(f) Resolution – E-Discovery LLC (ediscoveryllc.com)(Mar. 23, 2022).  In that blog, I suggested that negotiation is the best solution. […]
June 8, 2023

“Modern Attachments,” ESI Protocols, & Second Chances

UPDATE (Aug. 3, 2023):  See Doug Austin, Hyperlinked Documents and Email Threading Disputes Addressed by Court (ediscoverytoday.com)(Aug. 2, 2023), discussing In re Meta Pixel Healthcare Litig. (N.D. Cal. June 2, 2023)(“Accordingly, the ESI protocol should make clear that hyperlinked documents are not treated as conventional attachments for purposes of preserving a “family” relationship […]
April 28, 2023

Book Review:  Any Ship Can Be a Minesweeper – – –  Once

When it comes to electronically stored information, Tom O’Connor is a national treasure.  He has a wealth of litigation-related ESI experience, helped run the prestigious Georgetown E-Discovery Academy, lectures on recent cases and developments in the law, has published several books and blogs, and is a consultant.  He has generously shared his […]
April 25, 2023

What Hath Noom Wrought?

The “modern attachments” decision of Nichols v. Noom, Inc., 2021 WL 948646 (S.D.N.Y. Mar. 11, 2021), generated a lot of buzz when it was issued. At its core, Noom held that hyperlinked files are generally not part of a transmitting email.  Said differently, when a party produces an email that contains a […]
April 17, 2023

Recent “Textbook” Analysis of Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(e)

Government Employees Health Assoc. v. Actelion Pharmaceuticals, Ltd., __ F.R.D. ___, 2023 WL 316578 (D. Md. Jan. 19, 2023)(Coulson, J.), provides a textbook application of Fed.R.Civ.P. 37(e) in an antitrust lawsuit with a complex fact pattern. The Court rejected Rule 37(e)(2) sanctions and engaged in a sophisticated analysis to fashion Rule 37(e)(1) […]
April 7, 2023

District of Maryland’s Proposed Amendment to “Good Faith” Conference Rule

Like most courts, the District of Maryland requires that attorneys confer regarding a discovery dispute to resolve their differences.  Local Rule 104.7 provides that the Court “will not consider” any discovery motion that does not contain a certificate of compliance. Two amendments have been proposed. First, instead of a requirement that counsel […]
April 6, 2023

District of Maryland’s Proposed Amendment to Discovery Guideline 5

The United States District Court for the District of Maryland has proposed an amendment so that Discovery Guideline 5 will conform to amendments to Fed.R.Civ.P. 30(b)(6).  I chaired a subcommittee of the Federal Court Bench Bar Committee which submitted a proposed amendment to the Court for its consideration.  Subcommittee members included Phil […]
March 13, 2023

Judicial Interpretation of an ESI Protocol

This blog discusses how the Court interpreted the ESI protocol in McCormick & Co., Inc. v. Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc., 2023 WL 2433902 (D. Md. March 9, 2023)(Bredar, J.), McCormick was a consolidated breach of contract action involving multi-million dollar claims. The Court wrote: The ESI Protocol provides, under a subsection titled “No Presumption of […]
March 13, 2023

Should an ESI Protocol Be Incorporated Into a Court Order?

There is a lot of debate over whether an ESI Protocol should be incorporated into a court order; however, the decision may be unimportant as a practical matter. In McCormick & Co., Inc. v. Ryder Integrated Logistics, Inc., 2023 WL 2433902 (D. Md. March 9, 2023), the parties did not incorporate their […]
February 7, 2023

Can a Party Obtain Discovery From Its Opponents’ Former I.T. Service Provider?

In Relativity’s® 2022 Data Discovery Legal Year in Review e-book (8th ed.), David Horrigan, Esq., highlighted a fascinating case, Martley v. City of Basehor, 2022 WL 1302820 (D. Kan. May 2, 2022)(“Martley I”).  Mr. Horrigan described the case as a “clever … use [of] the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure to find […]
December 28, 2022

Bowtielaw.com Blog on Search Terms and Predictive Coding

Josh Gilliland’s excellent blog To Use Search Terms Before or After Predictive Coding – Bow Tie Law (Dec. 28, 2022), addresses “a simple question with a complex answer: Should search terms be used before or after predictive coding? That question was the subject of dueling motions in In re Allergan Biocell Textured Breast Implant Prods. […]
December 16, 2022

Managing Small Cases – Excellent Sedona Conference Resource

The Sedona Conference recently published a public comment version of its “Primer on Managing Electronic Discovery in Small Cases” (Dec. 2022). There has long been an interest in low-cost technology. For example, two decades ago, I wrote “Low Cost Litigation Technology” (Md. Bar Journal Nov./Dec. 2000).  Similarly, Craig Ball has blogged about […]
November 11, 2022

Be Careful What You Agree To, But the Duty to Cooperate May Provide an Escape Hatch (Part II)

In Advanced Magnesium Alloys Corp. v. Dery, 2022 WL 3139391 (S.D. Ind. Aug. 5, 2022), defendant, Alliance, agreed to search 159 terms.  However, when it produced the text messages “hitting” those terms, plaintiff found the texts to be cryptic and asked for more texts to provide context.  Alliance said – in my […]
October 28, 2022

Sanctions Denied, But Be Careful What You Agree To (Part I)

In Canter v. Zeigler, 2022 WL 6754646 (D. Md. Oct. 10, 2022)(Sullivan, J.), a contempt motion was made because the State failed to timely perform its agreement that had been incorporated into a Court order.  The lawsuit was filed by an inmate against prison medical and supervisory staff.  Plaintiff served a subpoena […]
August 14, 2022

Hit Reports

“Hit reports” have various names.[1]  One issue that has often arisen is whether a producing party must produce every document on a hit report requested by an opponent, even if irrelevant or nonresponsive to discovery requests.  Craig Ball has blogged on this issue since 2013.  However, his recent blog explains that “the […]
August 12, 2022

“Modern Attachments” or “Pointers”- What is a Document? (Part IV)

  I have written a series of blogs on What is a Document? (Part III),  What is a Document? (Part II), and What is a “Document?” In those blogs, I pointed to issues that may be presented by, for example, text bubbles, spreadsheet cells, Excel workbooks with multiple worksheets, PDF Portfolios, and […]
May 31, 2022

Historical ESI Highlights – Part VIII – Cooperation and The Cooperation Proclamation

Like many of its other publications, The Sedona Conference’s “Cooperation Proclamation” was an inflection point. The Cooperation Proclamation was published by The Sedona Conference in 2008.[1] It was followed by a number of publications, endorsed by Mancia v. Mayflower Textile Services. Co., 253 F.R.D. 354 (D. Md. Oct. 15, 2008), and by […]
May 18, 2022

“The Checklist Manifesto” and the Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) Conference

“The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right,” by Atul Gawande, M.D.,[1] is a fascinating analysis of the history and uses of checklists. In a nutshell, the thesis is that there are many areas where we have sufficient knowledge to solve problems; however, we fail to apply it correctly.  “Getting the steps […]
March 31, 2022

40th State Adopts a Duty of Technological Competence – Is It a Good Idea?

Although the ABA’s “technological competence” standard is a good “first step,” it could be improved.  Simply telling attorneys “be competent” – – with no further guidance or implementation – – does little to advance the ball.  Several articles make this point and suggest the need for additional specificity, education, and greater emphasis […]
March 23, 2022

Relevance Redactions Rejected – Rule 26(f) Resolution

This blog focuses on: authorities denying permission to redact irrelevant information from discoverable documents; a minority view to the contrary; and, a proposed solution using a Fed.R.Civ.P. 26(f) conference of the parties where appropriate.  If a party foresees the need to redact irrelevant or confidential information from an otherwise discoverable document, the […]
March 5, 2022

Are Litigation Hold Notices Discoverable?

The debate over discoverability of litigation hold notices continues. I recently wrote on this topic in  When is a Litigation Hold Notice Discoverable? — When a Litigation Hold is Defective and When is a Litigation Hold Notice Discoverable? A different approach to hold notices was recently suggested in an ABA article by […]
December 9, 2021

“Old” Sedona Paper Implements the “Specificity” Provision of Discovery Responses

In New Sedona Primer Implements the “Bull’s Eye View” of Discovery Requests, I discussed the recent “public comment” version of Sedona’s Primer on discovery requests.  Here, I discuss Sedona’s 2018 “Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 34(b)(2) Primer: Practice Pointers for Responding to Discovery Requests,” 19 Sedona Conf.J. 447 (2018), in conjunction with […]
December 8, 2021

New Sedona Primer Implements the “Bull’s Eye View” of Discovery Requests

The Sedona Conference has released its “Primer on Crafting eDiscovery Requests with ‘Reasonable Particularity’” (Nov. 2021, Public Comment Version). The Primer is a valuable contribution.  It gathers a substantial body of research in an easy-to-read, authoritative resource.  It focuses entirely on discovery requests, not responses, and does so in depth.  And, it […]
August 30, 2021

Expanding Privilege Protection to Fill the Gaps Left by Fed.R.Evid. 502

Federal Rule of Evidence 502 was passed in 2008 by a unanimous vote in the Senate, overwhelmingly in the House, and signed by President George W. Bush.  Anything with that degree of support has to be good and Rule 502 provides substantial and necessary benefits. An excellent publication describes the rule in […]
August 17, 2021

What is a “Document?”

Back in the days of paper-based litigation, it was rare to argue over the definition of a “document.”[1]  Usually, it was clear where a letter, memo, or contract began and ended.  But, ESI is much different than paper and recent cases bring that issue to the forefront. In Sandoz v. Un. Therapeutics […]
July 20, 2021

Does Rule 34(b)(2)(E)(i) Mandate “Document Correlation” When ESI is Produced and, If So, Does Metadata Provide a “Work-Around” to Avoid the Costs of That Correlation Process?

There has long been a split of opinion as to the applicability of the “document correlation” provision of Rule 34(E)(i) to the production of ESI.*  In April of this year, the Eastern District of Pennsylvania weighed in.**  There is, however, a straightforward way to avoid the problem.  It involves negotiation, cooperation, and […]
February 14, 2021

Marc Hirschfeld’s Legal Week Presentation

Marc Hirschfeld’s presentation at Legal Week, “Navigating the Pitfalls of E-Discovery for Boutique Litigators,” is well worth watching on Vimeo and Legal Week. Marc is the owner and president of Precision Legal Services.  Marc and I have collaborated on many projects. Marc discusses a number of topics in the one-hour video.  Among […]