Judges Craig Shaffer and Ron Hedges Give Good Advice to All Students of e-Discovery

This week’s blog is an exclusive 15 minute, must-see video by two judges, Ronald J. Hedges and Craig B. Shaffer. Craig Shaffer (shown left) is a United States Magistrate Judge in Colorado. Ron Hedges is a former U.S. Magistrate Judge in New Jersey (1986-2007). Judges Hedges and Shaffer give important advice to all students of e-discovery, including what is expected of lawyers today in federal court under the new rules. There is some great, timely content here, including advice on case management, staging, proactivity, ethics, proportionality, the proper use of vendors, the need to educate judges about your case, and the special opportunities in e-discovery for young lawyers today. Thank you Ron and Craig! (Click on the box in the lower right hand corner for the full size video.)

More on the Judges

After a distinguished career as a judge, Ron Hedges is now in private practice as an arbitrator, mediator, special master, and consultant. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at Georgetown Law and is on the Advisory Board for The Sedona Conference. Ron is unquestionably one of the top, most experienced experts in the field. He is well known and well liked by everyone. He is also a prolific writer. In addition to writing numerous law review articles, including a recent article on electronic service of process, Ron has authored Discovery of Electronically Stored Information: Surveying the Legal Landscape (BNA: 2007) and co-authored  Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges (Federal Judicial Center: 2007).

Judge Shaffer is well known to everyone in the e-discovery world as the author of the Land O’Lakes opinion. Cache La Poudre Feeds, LLC v. Land O’Lakes Farmland Feed, LLC, 2007 WL 684001 (D.Colo. 2007). This is an important opinion that I have written about before in Litigation Hold Is Not Enough: Sanctions Imposed Under Rule 26(g) for Negligent Collection and Preservation. As you can see in the video, Judge Shaffer is a learned judge with special expertise and experience in electronic discovery. He also serves as an Adjunct Professor at the University of Colorado School of Law. Like Ron, he is a great guy and very generous with his time.

Again, thanks to both Judge Shaffer and Judge Hedges for providing these important insights into our field. It is all good advice and deserves further discussion and debate. Please feel free to leave a comment here on any of the issues discussed.

6 Responses to Judges Craig Shaffer and Ron Hedges Give Good Advice to All Students of e-Discovery

  1. […] Judges Craig Shaffer and Ron Hedges Give Good Advice to All Students of e-Discovery « e-Discovery T…. This week’s blog is an exclusive 15 minute, must-see video by two judges, Ronald J. Hedges and Craig B. Shaffer. Craig Shaffer (shown left) is a United States Magistrate Judge in Colorado. Ron Hedges is a former U.S. Magistrate Judge in New Jersey (1986-2007). Judges Hedges and Shaffer give important advice to all students of e-discovery, including what is expected of lawyers today in federal court under the new rules. There is some great, timely content here, including advice on case management, staging, proactivity, ethics, proportionality, the proper use of vendors, the need to educate judges about your case, and the special opportunities in e-discovery for young lawyers today. Thank you Ron and Craig! […]

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  2. Ralph, great job getting these judges (or former judge in Ron’s case) to sit down and distill some true nuggets of wisdom for not only students, but all lawyers who should be students of e-discovery. Judge Shaffer’s comment that lawyers who graduated in the 70’s view discovery “as what you find in a bankers box” sugggests that training for lawyers on e-discovery needs to include not only the legal aspects of e-discovery, but training lawyers to understand technology as well as what types of information that exists to be discovered so that requests can be appropriately tailored to discover information likely to lead to the discovery of admissible evidence. Law school education is a great start, but we still need to reach the lawyers who are actually managing the cases as Judge Shaffer describes, and standing up before the judges.

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  3. […] Losey posts and discusses a “must-see” video on eDiscovery from Judges Craig Shaffer and Ron […]

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  4. Jack Halprin says:

    I found the commentary from Judges Craig Shaffer and Ron Hedges to be very insightful – as a former litigator and now a legal consultant for law firms and corporations with a software vendor, I agree that the role of a lawyer has changed dramatically over the years. When the constantly evolving practice area around eDiscovery is combined with the advanced technologies available, such as concept searching, automated clustering, and in-place analytics, attorneys have a huge opportunity to distinguish their practice, add value, and be more effective in meeting their clients’ needs. As the rules, regulations, and best practices requirements continually evolve, lawyers and their firms need to understand how to best utilize technology internally, and for their clients, to be more proactive and effective when serving in their primary role as trusted counselor and advisor.

    Jack Halprin, Esq.
    VP, eDiscovery and Compliance
    Autonomy

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  5. Jack- I think your comment was brilliant and very valid! The one concern I continue to have is although taking portions of case management in-house seems to save up front cost, the over inclusiveness of the searches and sophistication of the technology being used by corporations simply isn’t there. And I say this with the utmost respect to IT leaders but without an understanding of the law and the FRCP, which don’t have an opportunity to be exposed to; many things can go wrong, which ultimately can result in lost data, discovery delays, last minute issues, and for the most part I do not believe the corporations are making the investment in the tools the IT practice needs to do their job. Yet they carry a heavy burdon when things go wrong. Hiring a vendor, one that cares about the client, and does a job well for a fair price is far less risky then a corporation collecting data, trying to cull it, then tossing it to lawyers, who pass it off to Lit Support Managers. There is a fundamental breakdown there and demanding law firms work on fixed fees; I believe that corners will be cut in selecting the most appropriate technology for the matter at hand. They have a case to fight and on a fixed fee basis they are not going to spend that time vetting technology; hence my mention it gets tossed in the lap of the Litigation Support Manager, who generally isn’t given much information. My final point and I believe a crucial one, I simply do not understand why we are still dealing with over inclusive data sets due to key word searches when there exists technologies like Autonomy and Cognition who have solutions to avoid huge volumes of data.

    It frustrating to continue to hear about key words when in reality, using key words with the full knowledge of the results you’ll get, at this point, simply doesn’t make for an argument.

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  6. […] My blog this week consists of an exclusive 15 minute, must-see video by two judges, Ronald J. Hedges and Craig B. Shaffer. Craig Shaffer is a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Colorado. Judge Shaffer is well known to everyone in the e-discovery world as the author of the Land O’Lakes opinion. Cache La Poudre Feeds, LLC v. Land O’Lakes Farmland Feed, LLC, 2007 WL 684001 (D.Colo. 2007).  Ron Hedges shown above is a former U.S. Magistrate Judge in New Jersey (1986-2007). Ron is well known to everyone in the industry as one of the leading lights from the judiciary. They took time this month to talk about what they think is important in e-discovery, including: advice on case management; staging; proactivity; ethics; proportionality; the proper use of vendors; the need to educate judges about your case; and, the special opportunities in e-discovery for young lawyers today. […]

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