Lawyers for Civil Justice Lead ESI Preservation Panel

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Lawyers active in LCJ will present a panel on suggested changes to legal requirements governing the obligation to preserve electronic information – when it is triggered, its scope and appropriate sanctions for its loss.

In the absence of clear standards corporations are spending significant dollar amounts ... for preservation programs... that would be better spent on product improvement, marketing, customer service, creating jobs, and shareholder dividends.

Patrick Oot, General Counsel and Co-Founder of the Electronic Discovery Institute (“EDI”), announced today that members of the Lawyers for Civil Justice will present a panel on corporate preservation of electronically stored information (“ESI”) at the 2011 Legal Technology Leadership Summit being held September 6-8, 2011 at Amelia Island, Florida. Oot noted, “LCJ has been at the forefront of advocating for clarification and improvement of the e-discovery standards to which corporations are held accountable, and we’re pleased and honored that they have agreed to present a panel on the preservation of ESI.“

The Panel, on September 7 from 1:00 to 2:00 pm, will be moderated by Robert D. Owen, a partner in Sutherland Asbill & Brennan’s NYC office who has broad e-discovery experience in numerous high stakes cases. He will be joined by Robert L. Levy, Counsel at Exxon Mobil, who Chairs LCJ’s FRCP Committee; Tim Crouthamel, Associate General Counsel, State Farm Insurance; John W. O'Tuel III, Assistant General Counsel, GlaxoSmithKline; and Jon Palmer, Senior Counsel, Microsoft.

LCJ President Gino Marchetti noted that “Preservation is a very significant issue for corporations and there is a great need for clear Rules on when preservation duties are triggered, what the scope of preservation is, and what the sanctions are for failing to preserve. In the absence of clear standards corporations are spending significant dollar amounts and diverting corporate resources for preservation programs, components, and infrastructure that would be better spent on product improvement, marketing, customer service, creating jobs, and shareholder dividends.”

Robert Levy, ExxonMobil, also commented, “the Legal Technology Leadership Summit and our panel in particular will be an important precursor of a Preservation Mini-Conference organized by the Federal Rules Committee to be held on September 9. We hope to be able to develop information on preservation costs and burdens at the Summit by using interactive panel-audience technology that can then be passed on to the federal rule makers.”

Tim Crouthamel, another panel member, added that “It is extremely important to develop data and proposed solutions at conferences such as this that will persuade the rule makers of the need for meaningful rules and guidelines governing the preservation of information, because the current ad hoc patchwork of preservation obligations created by individual courts is creating burdens on litigants far beyond what anyone would consider reasonable. The current paradigm involving preservation and spoliation of electronically stored information (ESI) is undermining the “just, speedy and inexpensive” determination of actions.

John O’Tuel concurred: “Cases are being settled, discontinued or not brought in the first place because the cost of preservation is too high, the risk of spoliation sanctions is too great, and the impact of ancillary litigation proceedings on discovery disputes is too debilitating. Litigants are forced to spend millions of dollars to address an unquantifiable risk in computing systems that are designed for myriad business purposes, not litigation holds.”

About Lawyers for Civil Justice
Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ) is a national coalition of defense trial lawyers, their associations, and corporations that seeks to restore and maintain balance in the civil justice system for the benefit of the public. LCJ supports activities at both the state and national level designed to achieve reforms, which will ensure balance in the civil justice system. LCJ has been actively involved in promoting reforms to the civil justice system, including amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that have promoted procedural fairness in our federal courts. Currently LCJ is actively involved in such diverse areas as protective orders, e-discovery, pleading standards and expert testimony admissibility. More information about LCJ is available at

About the 2011 Legal Technology Leadership Summit
The Summit is co-presented by Above the Law, the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery, and the eDiscovery Institute. Summit information is available at:
Sponsors include:

  •     Applied Discovery
  •     Autonomy
  •     Clearwell Systems
  •     Datacert
  •     Ernst & Young LLP
  •     FTI Attenex
  •     Guidance Software
  •     Mitratech
  •     Nextpoint
  •     Pangea3
  •     Planet Data
  •     Prosearch
  •     QuisLex
  •     Recommind
  •     Robert Haff
  •     TCDI
  •     Thomson Reuters
  •     Valora Technologies

About the Electronic Discovery Institute
The Electronic Discovery Institute ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit research organization that identifies and promote technologies and processes that can lower the cost or improve the quality of handling electronic discovery. The EDI Web site, has reports and articles available at no cost relating to its prior work in evaluating document categorization and conducting industry surveys on duplicate consolidation, email threading, and predictive coding. Its Judges’ Guide to Cost-Effective E-Discovery has been very well received.

About Above the Law
Above the Law is a prominent source for original legal news, counting among its readers everyone from general counsels and senior partners at the nation’s biggest firms to the ranks of first-year law students. Written by lawyers for lawyers, Above the Law’s staff blankets institutions like the Supreme Court, law schools, life at firms both big and small, and the impact technology has on the practice of law. It’s the first with salary and bonus information and is a hub of professional advice for legal professionals at all career stages.
About the American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery

The American Society of Digital Forensics and eDiscovery ( is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit association serving attorneys, compliance professionals, digital forensics examiners, litigation support professionals, paralegals and technologists.


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Joe Howie