Judges Panel: What’s Wrong With Discovery?
In Law Technology News, attorney Gail Gottehrer of Axinn Veltrop & Harkrider reports on a Legal Tech panel of federal judges addressing the problems with the current state of discovery and how they impact justice. The panel included U.S. District Court Magistrate Judges: Frank Maas (S.D.N.Y.), Elizabeth Laporte (N.D. Cal.) and Andrew J. Peck (S.D.N.Y.) and recently retired, John M. Facciola (D.D.C.). Themes addressed included the tendency of lawyers to get everything possible during discovery rather than focusing on what is needed to prove their case at trial as so few civil trials go forward, the continued reliance on manual document review and the failure to embrace cooperation and transparency in discovery. The author writes that another significant issue addressed is the failure of attorneys to make business judgments and conduct cost/benefit analysis prior to engaging in costly discovery disputes that have minimal upsides. The author noted that the panelists expressed concern that the increasingly high cost of civil litigation has put the federal court system out of reach for most Americans. The Judges also addressed the concept of proportionality and the role it can play in weighing what is fair to both sides in a case.