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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 1:05 pm 
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No. 9 wrote:
Document examination in Harrisburg on a fairly major product performance/product liability dispute. My client just got added to the party (along with 8 others) because the plaintiff is looking for $26M in damages and the key defendant has a discharge in bankruptcy with the exception of $500,000 in insurance coverage. The plaintiff is trying to bring in every Tom, Dick and Harry it can to increase the potential pool of recovery . . . 160 boxes just sitting there waiting for me to parse through them . . . . yawn. But, if I get a trip to PNC out of it, well worth it.

What, no e-Discovery? Don't tell me you're one of those attorneys that's afraid of computers. ;)

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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 7:42 pm 
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Willton wrote:
No. 9 wrote:
Document examination in Harrisburg on a fairly major product performance/product liability dispute. My client just got added to the party (along with 8 others) because the plaintiff is looking for $26M in damages and the key defendant has a discharge in bankruptcy with the exception of $500,000 in insurance coverage. The plaintiff is trying to bring in every Tom, Dick and Harry it can to increase the potential pool of recovery . . . 160 boxes just sitting there waiting for me to parse through them . . . . yawn. But, if I get a trip to PNC out of it, well worth it.

What, no e-Discovery? Don't tell me you're one of those attorneys that's afraid of computers. ;)

Guys like him are why I left litigation support forever, lol.

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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Fri Apr 17, 2009 8:03 pm 
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Willton wrote:
What, no e-Discovery? Don't tell me you're one of those attorneys that's afraid of computers. ;)

No. 9 is, I am certain, not fearful of electronic assistance in litigation. No lawyer today who writes law and motion can survive without computer-assisted legal research.

No. 9 mentioned that he is new to the case. It was not his decision to have 160 banker's boxes of paper documents.

And in my experience, with that many documents, it is sometimes unwieldy to have them put on CD or other electronic source, since the electronic documents often do not have notations that indicate who is the party who lodged the document, or who is the source of the document.

Paper files will demarcate the party who filed the documents, and the files will then identify what the document is. One must look at the documents, but it helps very much to have the folders set up so that you can find your client's job file, or invoices, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:59 am 
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Bucfan wrote:
Willton wrote:
What, no e-Discovery? Don't tell me you're one of those attorneys that's afraid of computers. ;)

No. 9 is, I am certain, not fearful of electronic assistance in litigation. No lawyer today who writes law and motion can survive without computer-assisted legal research.

No. 9 mentioned that he is new to the case. It was not his decision to have 160 banker's boxes of paper documents.

And in my experience, with that many documents, it is sometimes unwieldy to have them put on CD or other electronic source, since the electronic documents often do not have notations that indicate who is the party who lodged the document, or who is the source of the document.

That's because every jackass who owned a copying machine thought that qualified him to move into digital technology, and enough law firms were so price-driven that they chose to believe anything that the low bidder said. I once spent a two year stretch doing nothing but trying to salvage projects of former customers who left my company over cost issues, then came back and asked us to save them.

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Paper files will demarcate the party who filed the documents, and the files will then identify what the document is. One must look at the documents, but it helps very much to have the folders set up so that you can find your client's job file, or invoices, etc.

If a CD full of images doesn't identify that, then either the firm decided to save a few pennies or the vendor was incompetent.

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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:02 pm 
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I could simply ask for all the documents to be scanned, placed on CDs and have them sent to my office. Then I could peruse the CDs and print out what is relevant or not relevant. I've done that before. Where, as is the case here, none of my opposing counsel (or those who are pointing in the same direction) know me at all. Having the chance to sit in a room, establish rapport, share coffees and lunch and to educate (if you know what I mean) all of them about the merits of my clients position and to be able to stand up and physically hand a document to another lawyer and say "see, here is what I was telling you before, my client was not involved in X or was not involved in the decision to do Y." Reading it in a pleading is one thing . . . having someone tell you, show you and putting a face to that person is wholly another thing. When the dispute is over this size of $$, investing in my time for 6-8 hours of personal time with the other lawyers is a pretty good investment. I have found over the years that my clients are much better served when I actually get the chance to personally interact with the other lawyers in the case.

Just had a case with a severely brain damaged plaintiff who fell 20 feet onto his head (concrete floor) and plaintiff's counsel voluntarily dismissed my client after some minimal discovery. Granted, I had good documents and a solid defense but I firmly believe that spending time meeting with opposing counsel, explaining my client's position, showing him the relevant documents all paid huge dividends. Didn't have to file any motions, brief any pleadings, etc.

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Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:46 pm 
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Bucfan wrote:
Willton wrote:
What, no e-Discovery? Don't tell me you're one of those attorneys that's afraid of computers. ;)

No. 9 is, I am certain, not fearful of electronic assistance in litigation. No lawyer today who writes law and motion can survive without computer-assisted legal research.

No. 9 mentioned that he is new to the case. It was not his decision to have 160 banker's boxes of paper documents.

That's a fair point, I didn't consider that.

Bucfan wrote:
And in my experience, with that many documents, it is sometimes unwieldy to have them put on CD or other electronic source, since the electronic documents often do not have notations that indicate who is the party who lodged the document, or who is the source of the document.

Actually, the e-discovery I was thinking of bypasses ever having them in paper format. If the documents were originally in electronic form (emails, word documents, PDFs, etc.) then in my mind it would be much easier to just keep them in their native format and Bates-stamp them from there. Keyword searching is invaluable to document review, and if you can do it right, you can find all the relevant documents at much less expense. Using something like Lexis Concordance or Summation is very helpful in that regard as well. Further, the print-outs of the documents often cannot give you the embedded or meta-data that tells you information about the document.

If the documents were originally in paper format, then I understand going the paper route. But if they originally started as electronic documents, going the paper route is rather inefficient, IMO.

Bucfan wrote:
Paper files will demarcate the party who filed the documents, and the files will then identify what the document is. One must look at the documents, but it helps very much to have the folders set up so that you can find your client's job file, or invoices, etc.

All of which can be done on a computer. You'd be surprised how efficient e-discovery can be given the amount of information that is potentially available.

Most lawyers feel trepidation about e-discovery because it's new and the rules have not been totally shaken out in the courts. I'll have you guys know that there's a number of internet resources out there that can help in that regard, one of which I've have the pleasure of being a contributing blogger. The first link below is one that has some of my writing. I'll let you guys figure out which ones have been authored by me. ;)

http://ellblog.com/
http://www.discoveryresources.org/
http://www.ediscoverylaw.com/
http://www.electronicdiscoveryblog.com/

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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 12:57 pm 
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sisyphus wrote:
If a CD full of images doesn't identify that, then either the firm decided to save a few pennies or the vendor was incompetent.

Almost every party pays to lodge its own documents, per a court order (case management order in California). The parties will do so at the least expense possible, and just lodge a CD with copies of the documents, with no markers, index, etc.


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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 1:06 pm 
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Willton wrote:
All of which can be done on a computer. You'd be surprised how efficient e-discovery can be given the amount of information that is potentially available.

The problem is with existing paper documents that are scanned. Those documents cannot have a key word search, or anything of that nature.

For pleadings and discovery, the electronic filing is not only common, it is mandated in Fed court. I do not file documents - I electronically lodge all pleadings. The index and key word search are great - no doubt.

But for a case with 20,000 pages of documents, those are going to be sales invoices, orders sheets, plans, diagrams, engineering specs, etc. on paper - all of which can be scanned. The scanning saves a ton of room but looking at the info is the same laborious process of going through page by page.


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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 9:12 pm 
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I was just wondering why No9 wasn't flying into Pittsburgh instead of Harrisburg. Stay overnight and then catch the bus to Harrisburg.

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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:03 pm 
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Bertie wrote:
I was just wondering why No9 wasn't flying into Pittsburgh instead of Harrisburg. Stay overnight and then catch the bus to Harrisburg.


I want to be back "home" on Wednesday night. Better to fly in Tuesday, drive to P-Burgh, drive back to H-Burgh and fly back from H-Burgh on Wednesday night. I need as full a day as possible in H-Burgh on Wednesday.

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Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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 Post subject: Re: Important question for the Board
PostPosted: Sat Apr 18, 2009 10:09 pm 
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Willton wrote:
What, no e-Discovery? Don't tell me you're one of those attorneys that's afraid of computers. ;)


Per the fed ct CMO, the e-Discovery phase is next - that's when all emails and all other electronically stored data are to be produced. E-Discovery has lots and lots of people scared to death and I've been in several cases where the parties have agreed to waive the e-discovery requirements.

_________________
Reflexively, obsessively and tastelessly submitted,
No. 9
Obsessive proponent of situational bunting and 2 strike hitting approaches, reflexively pro-catchers calling good games and tasteless proponent of the value of a RBI.


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