Georgetown E-Discovery Conference Recap: A “Must Attend” E-Discovery Educational Event

by Exterro, Inc.
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Are you looking to be educated by the best and brightest in e-discovery? Are you tired of conference sessions masked as educational but end up being vendor pitches in disguise? Do you want to learn beyond the theoretical? Are you tired of navigating between thousands of people to get to a session or grab a cup of coffee?

If so, Georgetown’s Advanced E-Discovery (AEDI) Conference is what you’re looking for.

This year was the third time I have attended and each year I’ve discovered a new wrinkle that keeps me coming back. This year Georgetown seemed to go out of its way to add new interactive sessions (for example, ESI search exercises and e-discovery ethics training) to an in-depth crash course on practical e-discovery lessons learned and best practice facilitated by an all-star speaker lineup throughout the various sessions (10+ judges).

One thing I found refreshing was the panels seemed to be more casual and the panelists seemed to be having a lot of fun together. It’s wasn’t all “it depends” answers and everyone didn’t always agree with each other. This led to far more though provoking conversations in my opinion.

Here are a couple of the key takeaways that I found interesting from this great conference:

  • How are the 2015 FRCP Amendments Affecting Case Law?
    • Courts are conflating relevancy and proportionality. Remember, to get to proportionality analysis relevant data should be in question.    
    • Judges set the standard for what e-discovery conduct will be permitted in their own courtroom so it’s important to have local counsel to understand the judge’s expectations.
    • Based on the continued emergence of the cloud, possession, custody and control issues will be more evident in subsequent case law. Court are split on what test to determine possession, custody, control: Practicability Test vs. Legal Ability Test
  • What to Do if Your Judge is Disinterested in E-Discovery?
    • Never use the words “with all due respect” when trying to educate a judge.
    • Focus on cost and don’t focus on quantity of data to make your arguments.
    • If you’re e-discovery counsel, don’t state that to your judge because the judge may assume you don’t really know what the case is about.
    • Give practical examples to showcase burden.
  • How Will a Jury React When There is ESI Spoliation?
    • All hope is not lost if jury is given an adverse jury instruction – don’t assume you can’t overcome it.
    • If a reasonable explanation of why data was deleted is given, then it’s much more likely that jurors will understand why the spoliation occurred.
  • How to Cooperate in E-Discovery? It’s All About Trust
    • It is counterproductive if all the parties don’t know what the positions of everyone in the negotiating room are, which can lead to posturing.
    • Plaintiff and defense counsel should work together individually before bringing in-house counsel and other parties to the negotiating table.
    • Defense counsel needs to clearly understand their client’s data infrastructure or else working with plaintiff’s counsel to narrow the scope of e-discovery will be difficult.

Want more e-discovery education? Don’t miss out on E-Discovery Day, December 1. Thousands of your legal professional colleagues have already signed up for this complimentary e-discovery virtual and in-person event.

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Exterro, Inc.
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