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On Dec. 1, 2006, the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure were amended to specifically address the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI). The amendments encourage addressing discovery of ESI as early as possible in litigation, provide a procedure for post-production assertions of privilege, address the forms in which ESI is produced, provide an analytical framework for the preservation and production of ESI that a party deems not reasonably accessible and tailor the application of sanctions to the discovery of ESI.

These amendments have been described as incremental, or evolutionary. However, when properly used, technology should lead to faster, more efficient discovery provided the rules are interpreted and applied in accord with Rule 1′s mandate that they be “construed and administered to secure the just, speedy and inexpensive determination of every action.”

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