Law.com technology editor Sean Doherty reports from Friday morning's keynote address by Judge Elizabeth Laporte, down in LA for the morning before flying back up to her seat in the Northern District of California. Working in a region that encompasses San Francisco and Silicon Valley, Judge Laporte has had the chance to learn a thing or two about e-discovery while presiding over disputes between some of the largest tech companies in the world.
Sean notes that "[s]he had a
lot to say about how counsel and their clients need to understand and
learn about their electronically stored information prior to attending 'meet and confers' and other pretrial discovery conferences."
The lessons to take away are not to treat the early meetings as "drive-by conferences"
and prepare for them: Do your homework. And when you know the
extent of your ESI, be prepared to discuss it openly and with candor
to your opponent and to the court. You also need to go beyond the
extent of ESI and know how it was created and how it is maintained --
all in a way that can inform the parties and the court of its nature
and accessibility, or inaccessibility. And most of all, remember that the
"cover-up is worse than the crime."
While she was at it, Judge Laporte managed to pepper her technical speech with a few literary allusions, including a formula from a Salman Rushdie story that lawyers should never let their litigation support staffs use on them, "P2C2E": Process too complicated to explain.