Leonard Deutchman: Scientific Method and the Directionless Changes of E-Discovery

Extract from Leonard Deutchman’s article “Scientific Method and the Directionless Changes of E-Discovery”

I am part of a small group of friends, many of whom, like myself, attended a boarding school outside of Princeton, New Jersey in the early 1970s. The leader of this group sends emails that contain recent writings and he and other members of the group engage in interesting discussions regarding those writings. A favorite topic is the impact that scientific discoveries and changes have upon society.  

Recently, one of the discussions concerned scientific method. One side championed the classic steps of scientific method, e.g., systematic observation, measurement and experiment, and the formulation, testing, and modification of hypotheses. The opposition retorted that while scientific method sounds good when teaching young and eager students, in reality what takes place is hardly the seamless movement from one step to the next until the truth is revealed. In this month’s article, I shall discuss scientific method as it applies to the growth of e-discovery and its protocols.

In Zubulake v. UBS Warburg, the series of opinions published from 2003 to 2005, Judge Shira Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York addressed e-discovery starting as a novice and ending with a level of expertise that she passed to her readership.

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