By Casey Sullivan
Think back to the dawn of the 2010s when you were young and your whole life was still ahead of you. Think about what life was like way back then. There was Angry Birds and the first iPads and Mark Zuckerberg on the cover of Time Magazine, which you could purchase in its tactile form on an actual newsstand with physical money. Inner-city travel was the domain of a thing called taxis. Oprah and “Lost” were still on the air. The Cubs were lovable losers. Myspace and Blockbuster and appointment viewing and Kanye West Creative Genius were all things that existed. The Cybertruck was just a twinkle in Elon Musk’s eye. And if you wanted to vacation in another place, you couldn’t just plunk down eighty bucks to stay in the guest house of a person you’ve never met.
We’ve come a long way — 18,000 Dow points, three Tom Brady Super Bowls, two good Star Wars movies and a Lin-Manuel Miranda — since those heady days of early 2010. But one thing hasn’t changed. And that thing, like an undying Emperor Palpatine, is eDiscovery.
Let’s face it. While we’ve made strides, eDiscovery is still expensive, still cumbersome, still risky, still combative.
So as we sit on the brink of a new decade and all of the hope, excitement, and anxiety that such a big new chapter entails, we’ve asked an esteemed bunch of judges, academics, and practitioners to share their visions, predictions, and resolutions for discovery and the legal practice at large. And while you’ll notice that not all share our opinions (i.e., that eDiscovery is a problem to be solved), the gist of some of their answers — more collaboration, less quarreling, better tools, a brand new start entirely — show that there is much work to be done and that discovery and the legal profession more broadly are still very much ripe frontiers for innovation and problem solving.
From the Judges