Forensic Update

Reflections on information management within the legal and regulatory arena

Posts Tagged ‘landfill of paper’

Federal Circuit’s Model Order adopted to curtail the expense of eDiscovery…Paradigm Shift of Wishful Thinking?

Posted by Johnny Lee on January 30, 2012

eDiscovery-LassoIn a move designed to stem the escalating costs of electronic discovery, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit recently adopted a Model Order that sets out requirements designed to limit the scope and impact of eDiscovery in patent cases.  In a September 2011 presentation, Chief Judge Randall Rader of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit unveiled a Model Order Regarding E-Discovery in Patent Cases (“Model Order”).

Judge Rader stated last September (at the joint conference of the Federal Circuit and Eastern District of Texas) that the Model Order will serve as an aid to district courts to enforce “responsible, targeted use of eDiscovery.”  According to Chief Judge Rader, the Model Order was drafted by special committee of the Advisory Council for the Federal Circuit and was designed to achieve the efficiencies achieved via Federal Rule of Civil Procedure (“FRCP”) Rule 30 (which limits the number of depositions that may be taken by each party).

The Model Order contains discrete provisions orchestrated to minimize expensive, overbroad, and time-consuming eDiscovery requests by establishing a process by which parties should exchange information, including electronically stored information (“ESI”).  Under the Model Order, parties are required to exchange “core documentation” prior to any request or production of electronic mail.  This core documentation includes related to the underlying patent and it prior art as well as the allegedly infringing product.

One of the most impactful provisions of the Model Order is its distinct and very detailed — treatment of electronic mail.  The Model Order actually presumes that general production requests shall not include email.  This addresses one of the most significant aspects of discovery in patent litigation, as a good deal of what is typically reviewed in such matters begins (and often ends) with a review of email.

Should this presumption be surmounted in a given matter, the Model Order also seeks to limit the number of custodians from whom email shall be produced.  “Each requesting party shall limit its email production requests to a total of five custodians per producing party for all such requests.”  This too can have a tremendous impact on the scope, expense, and timeliness of document reviews within patent litigation.

These changes alone are substantial, but the Model Order goes on to limit the nature and scope of eDiscovery in several other notable ways:

  • Email production requests should be limited to a total of five search terms, per custodian, per party;
  • Absent a showing of good cause, parties should be exempted from producing metadata;
  • Costs will be shifted for disproportionate production requests (consistent with FRCP Rule 26); and
  • Inadvertent productions are deemed a non-waiver within the pending case or any other state/federal proceeding (consistent with Federal Rule of Evidence 502).

These changes codify a material shift in thinking that speaks directly to the root causes of overblown eDiscovery efforts in patent cases.  Moreover, these changes should begin to bear fruit immediately in the form of reduced “digital haystacks” that parties are required to sift through in search of the proverbial needle(s) they seek.

Indeed, in a recent patent case in the Northern District of California, a U.S. Magistrate Judge granted a defense motion to govern discovery using an order quite similar to the Model Order (q.v., DCG v. Checkpoint Technologies).  Interestingly, in that case, the plaintiff asserted that the Model Order should not be applied, as it was designed to limit discovery abuses by so-called “patent trolls” (as opposed to disputes between actual competitors in the marketplace).  The Magistrate Judge disagreed with this assertion, stating that the Model Order neither deals exclusively with patent trolls nor exempts parties from discovery scope-limitations simply because they are market competitors.

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Posted in Computer Forensics, Data Governance, eDiscovery, Litigation Hold, Records Retention | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

“Controlling your Data Avalanche” Webinar…

Posted by Johnny Lee on October 27, 2011

 

I am pleased to announce that I will join luminaries from Vedder Price, a prominent U.S. law firm, in a discussion on “Managing your Data Avalanche” on November 16, 2011.  This webinar will delve into strategies for satisfying an organization’s legal obligations associated with Records Retention, eDiscovery, Litigation Holds, and Data Privacy.

“All too often, companies approach their data management obligations reactively and in a piecemeal fashion. This need not be the case; in fact, companies can satisfy their legal obligations with greater certainty — and more economically — through comprehensive data management strategies.”

This Webinar will be of interest to General Counsel, Chief Compliance and Information Officers, and those with a key role in managing eDiscovery or litigation within an organization.  This Webinar will provide an overview of legal trends in data management, with a specific focus on social media, cloud computing, eDiscovery, litigation holds, and data breach preparedness and response.  We will discuss ways in which companies can better manage their data through proactive data-management strategies.

To register for this webinar, please click here.  (Login information and presentation materials will be sent to registrants prior to the webinar.)

Click to learn more about Grant Thornton’s Forensics, Investigations and Litigation practice.   Click to learn more about Vedder Price’s Records Management, eDiscovery and Data Privacy practice.

Posted in Announcement, Computer Forensics, Data Governance, ECM, eDiscovery, Forensic Accounting, Information Security, Investigations, Litigation Hold, Privacy, Records Retention, Social Networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Trick or Tweet? Radio show appearance discussing recent issues on social media…

Posted by Johnny Lee on July 27, 2011

“Social media follows you around. Unlike Vegas, what happens online stays online forever with participants, leaving behind a wake of electronic information. As millions of smart-phone, Twitter, and Facebook users take to the Internet to send messages and post updates, they may place themselves and their businesses at risk.”

ForensicUpdate editor recently hit the airwaves with colleague Philip Ratliff on San Diego’s popular legal talk radio show with Jeff Isaac, host of “The Lawyer in Blue Jeans” program, to illuminate the concerns and issues related to the risks of social media use by individuals and businesses alike.

Listen as Philip Ratliff and Johnny Lee of Grant Thornton LLP’s Atlanta Forensic & Litigation practice discuss social media risks that can become serious issues if not dealt with carefully. Please note that the views and opinions expressed are personal views and are not necessarily those of Grant Thornton; click here for more on this.

Posted in Announcement, Computer Forensics, Data Governance, ECM, eDiscovery, Fraud, Investigations, Privacy, Social Networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Focus on Forensics ─ The Economist’s role in change-of-workforce discrimination cases

Posted by Johnny Lee on June 16, 2011

From Grant Thornton: “Companies involved in either reductions or expansions in force should be prepared for scrutiny over whether the composition of affected employees or job applicants is driven by business-related factors and whether there is evidence of an adverse impact on protected class members. In The role of economists in reduction (or expansion) in force discrimination cases we discuss how economists can assist a company’s legal counsel in validating or invalidating a plaintiff’s claim that the selection process has had an adverse impact on employees in a protected class.

This timely thought leadership comes from Grant Thornton’s Focus on Forensics series, a newsletter providing valuable forensic insights into some of the most complex and critical challenges facing businesses and legal counsel today.  Click here for prior online editions of this newsletter or to subscribe to upcoming editions, and click here for more information about a Grant Thornton Forensic & Litigation Services professional near you.

Posted in Announcement, Data Governance, eDiscovery, Forensic Accounting, Records Retention | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Forensic Update editor presenting at North American ISACA conference…

Posted by Johnny Lee on May 17, 2011

The world’s leading conference for IT audit, control, security and governance professionals holds its 2011 annual conference in Las Vegas. ForensicUpdate editor, Johnny Lee, will present on the topic of “Data Governance and eDiscovery: Good Faith, Bad Actors, and Questionable Data.”  Click here for more details.

Posted in Announcement, Computer Forensics, Data Governance, ECM, eDiscovery, Information Security, Investigations, Litigation Hold, Privacy, Records Retention, Social Networking | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

 
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