Georgetown Law’s 12th Annual Advanced eDiscovery Institute—Another Fine Presentation

Georgetown Law’s 12th Annual Advanced eDiscovery Institute—Another Fine Presentation

eDiscovery experts gathered at the 12th Annual Advanced eDiscovery Institute in Washington, D.C. to discuss the hottest topics in eDiscovery. The two-day event, hosted by Georgetown Law, took place on November 19th and 20th, just 10 days before the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure will go into effect.

The event launched with a keynote speech from Christopher Surdak, the renowned author of Data Crush which won GetAbstract’s International Book of the Year Award in 2014. Mr. Surdak also served as a panelist in several programs following his keynote address, in which the hottest topic appeared to be the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and their possible implications in the world of eDiscovery.

While some seemed to be worried about the effects of the new rules, most were hopeful that they will increase efficiency and cooperation among parties throughout the discovery process, especially during meet and confer efforts. The Honorable Judge Mark Coulson of Maryland expressed that he hoped to see the new rules be “used as tools and not weapons,” and the Honorable J. Michelle Childs noted that the new rules will not have a drastic effect in areas where parties are already open to cooperating and communicating honestly with one another.

Another hot topic was Native Production. At a program that got heated quickly, panelists passionately debated the pros and cons of providing documents in native form. Attorney, Craig D. Ball, argued that the eDiscovery process is backwards and that all documents should be provided in native form to increase cost efficiency and minimize room for error. Attorney, David J. Kessler rebutted, emphasizing that opposing counsel cannot be trusted to provide adequate security for the native documents once they are turned over. The Honorable Paul S. Grewel, who seemed highly amused by the debate, joked that he “can’t wait to write an opinion on this.”

Overall, the presentations were well thought out, intriguing and enlightening. We thank Tiffany Joly, her fine staff, and Georgetown Law for inviting eLessons Learned ( to cover the program. It will be interesting to see how the new Federal Rules of Civil Procedure shape the eDiscovery process and we look forward to hearing further discussion of their effects, and other burgeoning eDiscovery issues, at next year’s Annual Advanced eDiscovery Institute.

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