eDiscovery Trends: Opinions…Everybody Has One

By: Doug Austin

With the number of presidential candidacy polls already being conducted with over a year(!) before the 2012 presidential election, it’s no surprise that just about everyone is willing to express an opinion on just about anything.  With that in mind, one of the best eDiscovery blogs out there, Ralph Losey’s e-Discovery Team blog, is currently conducting a confidential poll of its readers related to various eDiscovery topics.

Using Polldaddy.com, Ralph asks questions related to various eDiscovery topics, including confidentiality orders, privacy rights, eDiscovery certification and new Federal Rules for eDiscovery.  He even asks a polling question of his readers as to whether they like these polls!  Amazingly, 13 people (10.48%) so far have responded ‘no’ to that question, which makes me wonder why they would take the time to respond when they don’t like polls?  Hmmm…  😉

Each of the polling questions not only provides a button to vote, but also provides a link to view results.  If there’s an end date to the poll at some point, Ralph doesn’t indicate one, so it appears that the ‘polls’ are open indefinitely.  The questions each have ‘yes’ and ‘no’ selections, along with an ‘other’ (with space to put in a comment and usually a fourth qualifying option (for example, question #2 below provides a choice for ‘Most of the time, but not always’).

I don’t want to “steal anyone’s thunder” and report current results, but you can use the link above to check out current results for each of the questions.  I will say that it appears that most of the questions have at least 100 responses so far, with some having a clear majority opinion and others being much more evenly distributed in responses.  Here are the questions Ralph asks in his blog post (excepting the aforementioned question about liking polls):

  1. Should courts routinely enter umbrella confidentiality protective orders during the discovery phase of the case?
  2. Should the public have a right to see all information filed with a court?
  3. Should all information accepted into evidence in a trial be disclosed to the public?
  4. Should Plaintiffs in civil suits have a right to protect from public disclosure any of their confidential information that is directly relevant to their case?
  5. Should Defendants in civil suits have a right to protect from public disclosure their confidential information that is directly relevant to the case?
  6. Should corporations have the same privacy rights as individuals?
  7. Is lack of privacy a problem in the United States?
  8. Are you concerned about your employer's right to read your email?
  9. Would you like stronger U.S. privacy laws where no one can read your email and other personal communications without your permission? (multiple answers allowed)
  10. Would you like to see privacy protection on the Internet strengthened?
  11. Do you agree with Patrick Oot? (and his criticism of eDiscovery certification programs)
  12. Do you think there is a need for certification of expertise in the field of electronic discovery?*
  13. Do you think there is a need for extensive training programs in e-discovery law?
  14. Do we need to amend the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure again soon to address e-discovery issues?
  15. Do we need to amend the FRCP to add one or more new rules on preservation?
  16. Should the rules be amended to limit the scope of relevancy in discovery?

*I have a ‘bone to pick’ with one of the potential responses to question 12 (Yes, but only State Bar Associations should do it) as it implies that the only people who need certification are attorneys and other legal practitioners, when technologists and consultants need it too.

I encourage you to check out the post, vote and view current results.  Even if you don’t like polls.  😉

So, what do you think?  Can we learn anything from polls like this?  Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

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About the Bloggers

Brad Jenkins

Brad Jenkins, President and CEO of CloudNine Discovery, has over 20 years of experience leading customer focused companies in the litigation support arena. Brad has authored many articles on litigation support issues, and has spoken before national audiences on document management practices and solutions.

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Doug Austin

Doug Austin, Professional Services Manager for CloudNine Discovery, has over 20 years experience providing legal technology consulting and technical project management services to numerous commercial and government clients. Doug has also authored several articles on eDiscovery best practices.

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Jane Gennarelli

Jane Gennarelli is a principal of Magellan’s Law Corporation and has been assisting litigators in effectively handling discovery materials for over 30 years. She authored the company’s Best Practices in a Box™ content product and assists firms in applying technology to document handling tasks. She is a known expert and often does webinars and presentations for litigation support professionals around the country. Jane can be reached by email at jane@litigationbestpractices.com.

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