The results of the first phase of a closely watched federal court pilot program on electronic discovery show that having a set of fair-play rules at the outset of a case helps quell pretrial brawls between parties.

The goal of the program, launched in May 2009 and spearheaded by James Holderman, chief judge of the Northern District of Illinois, was to find ways to reduce the massive costs and burdens of electronic discovery. Chairing the program is Magistrate Judge Jan Nolan, also of the Northern District of Illinois.

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