Review of Electronic Discovery and Records Management Guide

Electronic Discovery and Records Management Guide: Rules, Checklists, and Forms(2009 edition). Jay E. Grenig, Browning E. Marean and Mary Pat Poteet, eds. Thomson West, 2008. 769 pp.; paperback; includes CD-Rom; $149

 

It is estimated that more that 93% of all communications are digital. Ninety-eight percent of all business records are now electronic, and 80% of them are never converted to paper or any other tangible form. (from the Preface)

 

The nature of the discovery process in litigation has undergone a metamorphosis with the advent of electronic documents and records. The law and practice around discovery rules have rushed to keep pace. This well-organized and comprehensive desk reference guide brings together resources for the practitioner and researcher on both the discovering and responding sides of the discovery process. This title is a must-have for any litigation practice or department, and is recommended for any law collection (firm; academic; or state, court, or county), information science collection, and business collection.

 

The authors, a law professor from Marquette University Law School (Grenig) and two practicing attorneys from DLA Piper in San Diego (Marean and Poteet), are highly-qualified experts in the field. Professor Grenig has taught and written extensively in the area of discovery. He is the managing editor of Electronic Discovery and Records Management Quarterly. Attorneys Marean and Poteet both serve on DLA Piper’s Electronic Discovery Readiness and Response Group. Marean is a member of the Sedona Conference, a law and policy think tank that developed the Sedona Principles Best Practices Recommendations & Principles for Addressing Electronic Document Production (Sedona Principles). Poteet is a founding member of the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM), a guidelines and standards setting body.

 

The book is presented in an outline format and is divided into four parts and 19 chapters. Part one is a three-chapter introduction. Part two covers records management in four chapters. Part three includes seven chapters under the heading, “Obtaining Discovery of Electronically Stored Information”; while Part four addresses, “Responding to Discovery of Electronically Stored Information” in five chapters.

 

The organization of information within each chapter is excellent. Each chapter begins with a table of contents followed by bibliographic citations to additional resources for that chapter’s topic. Every chapter is divided into three sections: guidelines, checklists, and forms. Each section is further divided into numbered subsections. The subsection number, rather than the page number, serves as the finding key for the 19-page index.

 

The authors have also included the text and Advisory Committee Notes of the 2006 and 2007 amendments to the discovery rules of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the text of the Sedona Principles. All of the forms for each chapter are provided in Word format on the accompanying CD-Rom for ease of reproduction. The CD is not an e-version of the book, so it won’t serve as a finding aid.

 

Because of the comprehensive coverage of the subject, the book itself is a bit unwieldy at almost 800 pages. The book is perfect bound, and the binding in the center of the book failed almost as soon as it was opened. In a practice environment where this title would be well-used, it might be advisable to reinforce the binding as soon as it is received for processing.

 

The 2009 edition replaces the 2008 edition. This edition includes an analysis of Rule 502 of the Federal Rules of Evidence, which was enacted on September 19, 2008 (Pub. L. No. 110-322, 122 Stat. 3537). Given the rapidly changing environment of this area of litigation, I would expect that updates will be planned, but no schedule is published.

 

Reviewed by Tracy L. Thompson, executive director of the New England Law Library Consortium, Inc.

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