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Remembering E-Discovery Cases from 2008

December 15, 2008

Top 5 Cases That Shaped Electronic Discovery in 2008
Clearwell, December 12, 2008

As 2008 comes to a close, it’s interesting to look back on this year’s legal cases and notice the changes from beginning to end. As this article points out, e-discovery has evolved over the past 12 months thanks to some legal rulings that have since set the standard for future proceedings. The top five cases of 2008 are listed below, but we’re sure there are more out there worth noting. What flagship rulings stick out in your mind?

5. Mancia v. Mayflower Textile Servs. Co., 2008 WL 4595175 (D. Md. Oct. 15, 2008) – Judge Paul Grimm called upon attorneys to seamlessly work together to conduct e-discovery. In his opinion, Judge Grimm stated, “[c]ourts repeatedly have noted the need for attorneys to work cooperatively to conduct electronic discovery, and sanctioned lawyers and parties for failing to do so.”
4. Flagg v. City of Detroit, 252 F.R.D. 346 (E.D. Mich. 2008) – This was the first case that deemed text messages to be discoverable in a court of law. This scenario also highlighted the complications of separating personal and private communications.
3. Rhoads Indus., Inc. v. Bldg. Materials Corp. of Am., 2008 WL 4916026 (E.D. Pa. Nov. 14, 2008) – This case played a role in standardizing the “’middle ground’ for the determining of inadvertent disclosure during electronic discovery.”
2. In re Seroquel Prods. Liab. Litig., 244 F.R.D. 650 (M.D. Fla. 2007) – Putting forth guidelines for e-discovery behavior, this case identified scenarios that would be deemed uncooperative in a court of law. “This type of holding makes it clear that the bar for electronic discovery conduct is rapidly increasing, such that it is likely to see more frequent malpractice actions against counsel if and when things go wrong.”
1. E-Discovery Case of the Year: Victor Stanley, Inc. v. Creative Pipe, Inc., 2008 WL 2221841 (D. Md. May 29, 2008) – Coined Judge Grimm’s “hallmark” opinion, this case highlighted the idea that the success of e-discovery is often out of the control of attorneys. In other words, there is much more knowledge to be known than just documents that are dug up through keyword searches.

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