The Reporter Newsletter – December 2009

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01Dec2009

The Reporter Newsletter – December 2009

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December 2009

From the President

This holiday season, we thank you for allowing us to provide court reporting services for you in hundreds of cities nationwide. Being able to fill your needs with the full spectrum of court reporting services has been very rewarding to us.

You are the reason for our continued success. It’s because of your business that we secured a spot on the 2009 list of the top 5,000 fastest growing companies in the U.S. again this year.

The articles and tools in this issue were specifically chosen with the hope that they provide information you can use. As always, we welcome suggestions, comments or articles you have written that you feel would benefit other legal professionals.

Happy Holidays,
Sheila Atkinson-Baker

The E-Discovery Sanctions Cube

By William F. HamiltonHolland & Knight, Tampa, FL

Over the past few years, federal and state courts have rendered an unprecedented number of e-discovery sanctions orders and decisions. The trend is towards more and increased sanctions for e-discovery failures. These sanctions cases need a unifying theme and explanation; they need a model for analysis. This article presents the E-Discovery Sanctions Cube as a first effort at such an analytic tool. What is at stake is more than a theoretical exercise. Without a coherent model, we seem to learn the lessons of each case, but lack a comprehensive overview to ward off future disasters. If we can grasp the underlying dynamics of e-discovery sanction cases, we may be better able to devise a strategy to avoid e-discovery train wrecks. Indeed, our preliminary use of the E-Discovery Sanctions Cube as a teaching tool in law school e-discovery classes suggests that early dialogue between counsel and judge in Rule 16(b) hearings is key to the avoidance of sanctions and upholding the integrity of our system of justice.

Litigation History

Before today’s digital deluge, the last major litigation transformation was the introduction of discovery itself in 1938. Before the 1938 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, “discovery” required special bills, writs, and pleadings. Much like arbitration today, pre-discovery litigation required each party to assemble its own evidence and then head to trial. For this reason, the celebrated core litigation skills were the oral advocacy talents of argument, cross examination, and jury persuasion. For example, we recall and retell the courtroom oratory skills of Clarence Darrow and William Jennings Bryan.

Discovery brought with it new and often decisive battles, contests and conflicts. For the next 60 years, the courts and litigation counsel addressed the challenges of paper discovery. Federal and state civil procedure rules were often tweaked and adjusted. There were discovery excesses, abuses, and “gamesmanship,” but the general consensus was that paper discovery, and discovery in general, “worked.” Trials were fairer; meritless and purely legal cases decided more expeditiously, and surprise and ambush minimized.

Read Full Article »

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The E-Discovery Sanctions Cube

Computer Forensics Challenges

10 Ways to Stretch Your Research Dollars

How to Create a Click-thru Agreement in a PDF

10 Tips for Using Your Time Effectively

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Computer Forensics Challenges
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10 Ways to Stretch Your Research Dollars
Read Article »
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How to Create a Click-thru Agreement in a PDF
10 Tips for Using Your Time Effectively
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Disorder in the Court

Things people actually said in court, word for word:

Q: What is your date of birth? A: July fifteenth.
Q: What year?
A: Every year.

Q: What gear were you in at the moment of the impact?
A: Gucci sweats and Reeboks

Q: Do you know if your daughter has ever been involved in the voodoo occult?
A: We both do.
Q: Voodoo?
A: We do.
Q: You do?
A: Yes, voodoo.

Q: What was the first thing your husband said to you when he woke that morning?
A: He said, “Where am I, Cathy?”
Q: And why did that upset you?
A: My name is Susan.

basicjokes.com