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January 08, 2014 Practice Points

Highlights from E-Discover Roundtable

By Emily J. Kirk

On December 10, 2013, the Solo and Small Firm Committee hosted a roundtable entitled, "Small Cases, Big Costs: Managing E-Discovery Without Getting Squeezed." John Shamblin of Cohen Kennedy Dowd & Quigley moderated the discussion between litigators Jeffrey Close of Chatman & Cutler, LLP and Benjamin Sanchez of Sanchez Law Firm, and Navigant's Ryan Bilbrey.  

The panel discussion highlighted that responsibilities for complying with e-discovery requirements vary not based on the size of the firm, but rather on the size of the case. Thus, it is important for all litigators to talk to their clients up front to determine the size of the matter and the client's capabilities and preferences.

Litigators must quickly understand where their clients store electronic documents and must assess what it will take to adequately search, collect, and review documents. Panelists stressed that it is of utmost importance for firms of all sizes to be aware of the latest technology and court requirements relating to e-discovery so they can educate their clients from the beginning of a case.

Panelists also stressed that equally important is building relationships with opposing counsel related to e-discovery needs. Meeting and conferring with opposing counsel regarding what it actually needed helps to narrow potential sources of data to those are really needed to effectively litigate cases and ensure that e-discovery plans are defensible in the eyes of the court.

Keywords: litigation, solo, small firms, e-discovery, roundtable, document review, opposing counsel

Emily J. Kirk is with Thompson Coburn LLP in St. Louis, Missouri.

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