Electronic discovery (“ESI”= electronically stored information) is a fact of life for almost all civil litigation but there are forces at work (technologically ignorant litigators and unbelievable potential expense for “full-scale” electronic discovery, for example) that limit the scope of such discovery in many cases. That said, the technological sophistication of trial lawyers increases constantly and cost competition in the “e-discovery” business (that is, lower cost) is inevitable (not to speak of increasing sophistication of clients, the use of effective document management systems, etc.). So while constraints still exist and litigants do not necessarily commit to deep electronic discovery in all cases, the future is clear.
Yesterday, Mag. Judge Boylan (D. Minn.) rejected Plaintiff’s suggestion that a request for “native files” could reasonably be construed to mean the production of Adobe PDF (portable document format) files. Trial lawyers know or should now what a “native file” is and it is extremely rare that a native file would be a “native PDF file.”