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It should be old news by now. so-called e-discovery, the production of electronic documents in litigation, is an integral part of litigation today, and a billion-dollar industry. Everyone knows that e-mails can be, at the least, embarrassing, and at most, incriminating. To in-house lawyers, keeping on top of their companies’ digital trove of documents should by now be just another customary part of the job. But surveys show that e-discovery is still a vexing problem. Corporations have sprawling, unwieldy computer networks, with thousands of employees sending e-mails that talk about everything from the next sales conference to how a new drug can cause problems. And e-mails like that are leading to big plaintiffs awards. To add to the woes of corporate lawyers, the e-discovery process has been a free-for-all, a largely unregulated arms race in cyberspace. Finally, however, it looks as though the profession is scrambling to bring some sanity to the process. The following report shows how lawyers, both in-house and in firms, and judges and scholars are coming up with commonsense guidelines. And it shows how in-house attorneys, spurred by a string of multimillion-dollar verdicts, are getting with the e-discovery program. Related articles. E Woes Electronic discovery still spooks the legal department. Electric Company Big damages in botched e-discovery cases up the ante for in-house lawyers as they take on a new role: IT gatekeepers. People First High-tech software tools can’t substitute for effective, hands-on management of electronic discovery. Play Nice The proposed 14 principles for electronic discovery. By The Numbers Here are ten figures that keep corporate counsel awake at night. Be Afraid Several recent legal actions involving problems with electronic discovery.

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