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7th Circuit discovery pilot program starts Oct. 1

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The first phase of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals' Electronic Discovery Pilot Program kicks off Thursday. The pilot program will try to develop procedures and practices to minimize the cost and burden of e-discovery while maintaining the fairness and justice all parties deserve.

The pilot program was developed as a result of continuing comments by business leaders and attorneys regarding the need for reform of the civil justice pretrial discovery process; the release of the March 11, 2009, final report on the joint project of the American College of Trial Lawyers Task Force on Discovery and the Institute for the Advancement of the American Legal System at the University of Denver; and the Sedona Conference Cooperation Proclamation.

The 7th Circuit Electronic Discovery Committee developed the pilot program's Principles Relating to the Discovery of Electronically Stored Information. These will be implemented during Phase One, which runs until May 1, 2010.

The pilot program will include trail court judges in the 7th Circuit who volunteer to implement the principles in select cases by entering the proposed standing order incorporating the principles. The selected cases will be evaluated and data will be presented at the annual 7th Circuit Bar Association meeting and Judicial Conference of the 7th Circuit in Chicago in May 2010. Phase Two is planned to run from June 2010 to May 2011.

More information on the project is available on the 7th Circuit's Web site

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