Janice Yates, Prism: Time to Spring Forward – A New Framework for Discovery

Extract from Janice Yates’s article “Time to Spring Forward – A New Framework for Discovery”

The phrase, “there’s nothing new under the sun” is popular because in most cases, it’s true. On March 25-26 of this year, The George Washington University Complex Litigation Center held a Bench-Bar conference introducing a New Framework for proportionality in discovery that defied that maxim. Nothing completely new, however, comes without a bit of controversy. But as inventor Charles Kettering said, “The world hates change, yet it is the only thing that has brought progress.”

The goal of the New Framework, whose steering committee and drafting teams included 56 judges, practitioners, and ediscovery experts, is “to develop a discovery-proportionality benefit-and-burden assessment model that provides a practical means of assessing claims of proportionality.”1 The model is based on a conceptual framework developed by Insight Optix LLC in its patented Evidence Optix® SaaS-based technology.

This was no ordinary event. During the two-day conference, expert panelists included a dynamic mix of judges, drafting team members, in-house corporate lawyers, and practitioners from both sides of the V. As one can imagine with such a disparate group, the discussions were spirited. There was a general consensus on one important point – a framework that moves the discovery process forward, is more transparent and less contentious, and produces greater opportunities for cooperation, would be highly advantageous.

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