The new edition of Discovery Problems and Their Solutions--published by the ABA and co-authored by Judge Paul Grimm, Charles Fax and myself--touches upon some important advances in the field of discovery--in particular, some key electronic discovery amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, and the legislative and judicial reactions to those changes. There are, of course, many changes afoot in this area of the law; litigators face a constant learning curve as law contends with new technologies and situations. While electronic data is often easier to access than paper records that can be lost or easily destroyed, the sheer volume of data in many cases makes gleaning meaning from that data an immense challenge. The new edition of our book seeks to help attorneys work through that hurdles that often must be cleared in the discovery process as it is known today.
I often call discovery “the central battleground of the case.” Most civil lawsuits in federal court end before trial, either by pretrial settlement or on dispositive motion. In either case, the fruits of discovery can be critical to the outcome. The need for analytical and strategic guidance on problems in discovery is heightened by the fact that much of it is handled by relatively inexperienced lawyers. Anyone who aspires to be a competent civil litigator must master the rules of pretrial discovery taking into account the new amendments surrounding electronic discovery.