Millnet on the crossover between UK eDisclosure and US eDiscovery

One needs to be careful when drawing attention to an article by another which refers back to oneself, and it is with some diffidence that I refer you to an article called Coughs and Sneezes by Charles Holloway on the Millnet blog which itself quotes something I said.

I justify that, if I need to, on the basis that the thrust of thearticle is about a wider subject – the increasing crossover between developments, or at least thinking, in the US and the UK on the subject of what they call eDiscovery and what we (for some obscure reason) call eDisclosure. The “coughs and sneezes” in Charles’s heading relate to the old adage about America sneezing and the rest of the world catching a cold.

As you will probably have gathered, I see a balanced exchange rather than the one-way traffic which is how US lawyers seem to see things, with their proud boast that “the US is two years ahead of the UK”. I have never seen it like that, except in relation to the technology which has been developed to meet the eDiscovery challenges under the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, most of which emanates from the US.

I do not seek to undermine this view because we in the UK are in any sense “better”, but because the US model has been an unhelpful one for those of us who seek to encourage UK lawyers into electronic management of litigation documents. As the US discovers the pleasures of proportionality, reconsiders (again) its legal hold and preservation obligations, and thinks about narrowing the scope of “relevance”, so the American model, with all its valuable thinking and experience, becomes a useful example to the rest of us rather than the bogeyman which deters lawyers from even thinking about the subject.

About Chris Dale

I have been an English solicitor since 1980. I run the e-Disclosure Information Project which collects and comments on information about electronic disclosure / eDiscovery and related subjects in the UK, the US, AsiaPac and elsewhere
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