Electronic discovery in litigation can be confusing and intimidating. Corporate counsel who are involved even indirectly with litigation may benefit from an understanding of the general concepts applicable to electronic discovery. In some instances, corporate counsel directly handle the collection and production of documents or work with outside counsel to assist in preparing protocols for dealing with electronic-discovery issues. Counsel in larger organizations may have to discuss discovery and data collection with outside counsel and provide advice and guidance regarding risks associated with production to internal clients. This article is intended to provide a brief primer on the basics of electronic discovery and some practical considerations for addressing electronic-discovery related projects and issues.
New Emphasis on Technology for Florida Lawyers.
All Florida lawyers are now required to have some knowledge regarding the impact of technology and electronic discovery related issues on their clients. The Official Comments to Rule 4-1.1 of the Rules Regulating The Florida Bar were amended in September 2016 to expressly provide that, in order for lawyers to maintain competence, they should keep abreast of changes in the law and its practice “including an understanding of the benefits and risks associated with the use of technology[.]” The Florida Bar also enacted a requirement that Florida lawyers obtain at least three CLE credits in technology programs per reporting period. Similarly, courts throughout the state now expect attorneys and litigants to be prepared, knowledgeable, and diligent when it comes to the retention and production of electronic data in litigation.