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Electronic discovery, even more so than traditional paper-based discovery, can present treacherous ethical and malpractice pitfalls for all attorneys, even those who practice at the requisite level of technological competence. The complex mix of evolving technologies, ever-expanding data sets, increased competition for a shrinking pool of work, corporate budget pressures and a continuing upward trend in professional liability claims creates unique challenges for lawyers in the area of e-discovery. In short, bad things can happen to the unwary attorney who fails to recognize the ethical considerations in e-discovery. Such traps are discussed below, along with practical guidance for complying with ethical rules implicated by common e-discovery issues.

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