Magazine article Information Management

Lawyers: E-Discovery Drives Up Court Costs

Magazine article Information Management

Lawyers: E-Discovery Drives Up Court Costs

Article excerpt

Lawyers say electronic discovery is driving up litigation costs--so much so that, in some instances, the cost of getting information is much higher than what the case itself is worth.

According to a report by the American College of Trial Lawyers (ACTL) and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System (IAALS), 87% of the 1,400 lawyers who responded to a survey said e-discovery is too costly and is increasing litigation costs, causing cases to be settled on cost rather than merit, the report reveals.

According to the survey, nearly 77% of trial lawyers believe the courts don't realize how hard the e-discovery process is. Other key findings include:

* Court pleadings and the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP) too often are used as leverage to force a settlement, rather than to better define and move a case ahead toward trial.

* Judges don't do enough to control excessive discovery.

In 2006, the Supreme Court amended the FRCP, requiring early disclosure of electronic data and that such data should be produced in a readily usable form. Trial lawyers surveyed said they didn't want to overhaul or get rid of the FRCP. …

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