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Computer-Based Discovery in Federal Civil Litigation

Kenneth J. Withers
January 1, 2000
Available Online Only

Discovery is changing in response to the pervasive use of computers. More and more cases involve e-mail, word-processed documents, spreadsheets, and records of Internet activity. This article discusses some of the potential for computer-based discovery to reduce overall discovery costs and improve the administration of justice. The article also explores the unique problems of computer-based discovery, and focuses on the judicial role in managing computer-based discovery and preventing or resolving some of the more common disputes. The Appendix provides a checklist of computer-based discovery considerations for Rule 16(c) pretrial conferences. -- -- An earlier version of this article appears in the Federal Courts Law Review (Federal Magistrate Judges Association) at 2000 Fed. Cts. L. Rev. 2 (Oct. 2000) http://www.fclr.org/fclr/articles/html/2000/fedctslrev2.shtml