In the swiftly evolving field of electronic discovery, courts are moving away from harsh sanctions and toward more creative and proportional solutions to what has become a very costly problem for many companies.
That’s the view of several experts at Gibson, Dunn & Crutcher who took part Thursday in a webcast on e-discovery hot topics. The session was based on the law firm’s lengthy “2012 Year-End Electronic Discovery Update: Moving Beyond Sanctions and Toward Solutions to Difficult Problems.”
“The e-discovery playing field continues to shift rapidly, and general counsel need to be aware of the developments and how [the changes] impact their companies’ strategies,” Gareth Evans told CorpCounsel.com before the webcast. Evans, who is based in Los Angeles, co-chairs the firm’s e-discovery law practice group.
The continuing changes can impact a company’s obligations in discovery, added the other co-chair, New York-based Jennifer Rearden. “And the courts’ receptivity to new approaches to document review may significantly reduce the general counsel’s legal spend,” Rearden noted.
Kicking off the webcast, litigation associate Heather Richardson said two key topics of change were the courts’ imposing fewer major sanctions, such as terminating a case in the other party’s favor as a measure against companies for faulty e-discovery efforts; and the courts’ growing acceptance of parties using predictive coding.