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Affirmatively Litigating: “The Computer Ate My Homework, Your Honor”

What You Need to Know About the Electronic Discovery Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure

By Greg Bass

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure incorporating information technology advances relevant to civil discovery became effective December 1, 2006. The rules and interpreting case law now expressly include electronically stored information (ESI) as a discrete category of discoverable information. The parties’ rights obligations under the rules differ according to whether the ESI data sought are in a “reasonably accessible” format or in a format that is considered “not reasonably accessible.” Data preservation requirements and sactions for spoliation of ESI are also set forth in the rules.

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