Model Rules and Procedures in e-Discovery: Different Approaches in Different Jurisdictions

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While the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure acknowledge the obligation to produce “electronically stored information” (ESI) in litigation, they do so with the same standard for relevance as traditional discovery – “any nonprivileged matter that is relevant to any party’s claim or defense.” The resulting scale and complexities of such broad discovery has prompted many jurisdictions to develop a process for addressing electronic discovery issues at the outset of each case, with the goal of preventing disproportionate discovery costs and the inevitable discovery disputes.

Courts have adopted a broad spectrum of approaches in recent years, from specific rules for e-discovery to generic guidelines for crafting specialized ediscovery plans in each case. In addition, some courts have introduced unique ideas for addressing e-discovery issues like document preservation, privilege logs, custodial collections and cost sharing. This article provides a brief overview of different approaches being adopted by courts.

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