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Electronically Stored Information (ESI)

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December 1, 2017

Federal Rules of Evidence 902(13) and 902(14), which became effective on December 1, 2017, provide for the self-authentication of electronic evidence. Under these rules, electronic evidence can be authenticated by certification instead of by testimony. Rule 902(13) applies to electronic evidence such as computer files, social media posts, and smart device data. Rule 902(14) applies to electronic copies.

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September 20, 2017
Ronald J. Hedges, Barbara J. Rothstein, Elizabeth C. Wiggins

This third edition of the pocket guide on managing the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI) covers the December 1, 2015, amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure and reflects the rise of new sources of ESI, particularly social media, and updates judges on how ESI may be searched. It also suggests case-management techniques that judges might use in smaller civil actions in which the costs of ESI discovery could hamper resolution on the merits.

July 27, 2017

The Advisory Group to the New York State–Federal Judicial Council analyzed New York State and federal courts’ treatment of prelitigation conduct involving the creation, retention, and destruction of electronically stored information (ESI) to determine whether the courts were consistent and harmonious when addressing these issues.

December 1, 2015
Paul W. Grimm

Amendments to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 37(e), which became effective on December 1, 2015, specify that sanctions for failure to preserve electronically stored information (ESI) require findings that (1) the ESI should have been preserved in the anticipation of litigation, (2) the party failed to take reasonable steps to preserve it, and (3) it cannot be restored or replaced through additional discovery. The rule does not create a duty to preserve ESI. Instead, it leaves in place the common-law duty.

December 1, 2015
David G. Campbell

Amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure that became effective on December 1, 2015, respond to findings that early intervention by judges helps to narrow issues and reduce discovery. Litigation results are more satisfactory when a judge actively manages a case from the beginning and stays involved. The amendments do not break new ground; they emphasize the importance of early, hands-on, and continuing case management. The times for service of a complaint and the time for holding an initial case-management conference are reduced.

November 25, 2015
Sean Broderick, Donna Lee Elm, Andrew D. Goldsmith, John Haried, Kiran Raj

This pocket guide was developed to help judges manage complex e-discovery in federal criminal cases. The advantages of electronically stored information (ESI, or e-discovery) include speed, efficiency, and quality of information. To ensure these benefits are realized, judges and lawyers working on federal criminal cases need guidance on how best to address e-discovery issues. This guide helps judges to ensure that e-discovery moves smoothly, trial deadlines are met, and the parties and courts are able to review and identify critical evidence. 

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May 21, 2012
Barbara J. Rothstein, Ronald J. Hedges, Elizabeth C. Wiggins

This second-edition pocket guide helps federal judges manage the discovery of electronically stored information (ESI).

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June 6, 2011
Emery G. Lee

In 2010, the Judicial Conference Advisory Committee on Civil Rules requested a study of motions for sanctions based on an allegation that the nonmoving party had destroyed evidence, especially electronically stored information (ESI). The study examined the electronic docket records of civil cases filed in 2007–2008 in 19 districts, including at least one district in every circuit except the District of Columbia Circuit. This report summarizes the findings of that study and, where appropriate, compares those findings to other studies.

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