On Nov. 1 and 2, Fort Mason in San Francisco housed a high-profile group of presenters at the Computer Forensics Show. The show's purpose was to introduce the latest advancements in the forensics marketplace. A broad range of topics was discussed, such as e-discovery cost management, project budgeting, managing the technical aspects of document reviews, and corporate counsel's perspective of e-discovery; however, two topics stood out at providing cutting-edge trends in the legal industry.
The first presentation was "Avoiding E-Discovery Landmines" by Eric J. Sinrod of Duane Morris in San Francisco. Its general purpose was to provide a comprehensive overview of how failing to effectively respond to electronic discovery can lead to severe monetary sanctions and adverse case results. According to Sinrod, in light of the aftermath of the changes to Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, Rules 16(b) and 26(f), parties are having a difficult time reaching consensus with the required "meet and confer" process as it relates to e-discovery. Failure to adhere to production obligations can lead to serious sanctions, sometimes in the millions of dollars. Moreover, with the broadening of the definition of the terms "documents" and "data compilations," parties are also having to agree on how to produce such items as voice mail messages, social networking communications, instant messages, blogs, backup tapes, etc., which can be very costly.