California E-Discovery Rules on Hold…For Now

LAW.COM (Jan. 6) Attorneys who have been scrambling to find out if there are new e-discovery rules taking effect this week in California’s state courts can relax. The rules haven’t been finalized yet.  A state Judicial Council committee looking at e-discovery rules shelved proposed amendments to state court rules last summer, according to an attorney for the council. But some lawyers hadn’t heard, and were under the impression they’d take effect in the new year. Those amendments to California Rule of Court 212 would have required parties to meet and confer on electronic discovery issues during case management conferences.By tabling those changes, the California courts seem to be signaling to litigators statewide that they are going to take a wait-and-see approach to e-discovery. “This is likely to be a longer-term project in the next several years,” said Patrick O’Donnell, counsel to the Judicial Council’s Civil and Small Claims Advisory Committee. “I think the situation in California [is], wait and see. Let’s take a look and then hopefully benefit from the experience the federal courts and others are having.” The fact that the Rule 212 amendments did not take effect caught some lawyers by surprise, especially Richard Seabolt, who wrote in a recent State Bar publication that the rules would take effect this month.Seabolt said he considered the proposed amendments to be noncontroversial. “Frankly, I just assumed it would be adopted by the Judicial Council and in no small part it would track what the federal rules were doing,” he said.New federal e-discovery rules took effect in December that, among other things, define discoverable information and encourage parties to give the issue early consideration. Those rules also offer separate guidelines for electronic information that is “reasonably accessible,” and that which, because of cost or other burdens, is not.  To view the entire article, click here

By: Matthew Hirsch


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