Saturday, November 21, 2009

2009-11-21 Seventh Circuit Announces eDiscovery Pilot Program

Back after a looong break. Posts will be somehwat shorter...but will remain informative, and opinionated. And, so...

On October 1, 2009, the U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit announced the deployment of Phase One of the not surprisingly titled: “Seventh Circuit Electronic Discovery Pilot Program.” Phase One is effective between October 1, 2009 and May 1, 2010.

This document sets forth both a statement of purpose and preparation of principles for parties engaging in electronic discovery practice in matters before district, bankruptcy, and magistrate court proceedings in the Seventh Circuit. To the best of my knowledge, this is the first circuit-wide program of its kind in the United States. The document is 21 substantive pages in length.

The document is well written, and the assistance in its drafting by technology types is evident throughout.

Document link:

That said, I found especially helpful the proposed ESI discovery standing order, the text of which represents a significant step forward in reducing eDiscovery disputes. Of particular note are the sections addressing cooperation (1.02), eDiscovery Liaisons (2.02), Production Format (2.06), and Education (3.02).

Failure to cooperate in connection with ESI discovery is now expressly sanctionable in all district, bankruptcy and magistrate court proceedings in the Seventh Circuit (See Section 2.01).

BlogNote: This is a great start.

Practice Note: Think this is merely a wish list? Think again. I attended a status conference two weeks ago in connection with an eDiscovery, er, disagreement (another native format battle, wouldn’t you know) and the magistrate judge in the Northern District of Illinois before whom we appeared stated on the record that the Court was adopting the proposed standing order, effectively immediately, and would resolve the parties’ disagreement in accordance therewith.

Kudos to the Seventh Circuit.


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