Electronic Discovery and Its Effect on Litigation
Washington DC electronic discovery attorneys
The Washington DC law firm of Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing is firmly committed to monitoring the continued evolution of the laws concerning electronic discovery. Our attorneys have extensive experience trying commercial litigation cases involving e-discovery, and have the knowledge and skill to successfully resolve your problems.
Issues in e-discovery
Much of the work attorneys have to do in corporate litigation is done during the discovery stage of a trial. In discovery, attorneys ordinarily have to sift through thousands of pages of letters, phone records and other pertinent materials in order to piece together the facts of the case.
However, recent technological innovations have made the discovery process much easier for attorneys dealing with electronically stored information (ESI). ESI includes such things as electronic databases for storing information and finances, emails, instant messaging chats, website content, and any other information that can be used as evidence at trial. There is now a host of companies offering litigation support services that help law firms quickly sift through ESI to identity information relevant to their case.
Despite the advantages that e-discovery brings to the table, there can be serious problems if ESI is not collected, managed and reviewed properly. The Federal Rules of Civil Procedure now mandate that discovery of electronic records must not only be produced in a timely manner, but must also be protected to prevent any destruction, deletion or interference with stored information. Improper handling of ESI can result in important facts being overlooked in searches conducted by e-discovery programs, problems with converting information to proper file formats, and sanctions being issued by courts for failing to comply with e-discovery rules.
These sanctions can have a severe effect on a party in court, including the preclusion of witnesses and evidence, adverse jury instructions, monetary awards being issued to opposing parties, and even the dismissal of claims and defenses. Attorneys have felt the wrath of sanctions as well, including fines, fees and orders to pay the opposition’s attorneys’ fees. These sanctions are no laughing matter ‘ courts have awarded up to $5 million to opposing parties for e-discovery violations, and more and more cases have been decided on this issue over the last five years.
Get the help your business needs today
If you need help with e-discovery issues, call 202.536.3359202.536.3359 or contact Tobin, O’Connor & Ewing online to schedule a free 30-minute??initial consultation. Our office is conveniently located in the Chevy Chase Pavilion, easily accessible from the Friendship Heights Metro station. We can be your best resource and we look forward to serving you.