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E-discovery: Avoiding drive-by “meet & confers”

Making the most of a meet and confer begins with a detailed discovery plan.

Rule 26(f) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure requires that parties meet early in the litigation to try and agree on a discovery plan. To make Rule 26(f) work, the Sedona Conference—a nonprofit group of leading judges, scholars and attorneys focused on improving the practice of law—issued a 2009 proclamation encouraging parties to cooperate in the discovery process. Still, many lawyers show up at the scheduled 26(f) conference without a detailed understanding of their client’s ESI or a specific plan for discovery in mind.

That can be a mistake.

Taking the time to make a detailed discovery plan has multiple benefits. It both saves costs and gets attorneys up-to-speed faster. Judges appreciate the collaborative effort, which builds good will. And a detailed plan that discloses information and processes early forecloses later disputes by opponents who fail to make the same efforts.

Practical Strategies for Meaningful Meet and Confers

Michael Collyard

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