Use E-Mediation and Special Masters in E-Discovery Matters

Texas General Counsel Forum

Each general counsel and lawyer needs to understand electronically stored information (ESI). However, most lawyers studied law long before the world became electronic. Judges and lawyers were never trained in computer technology, yet they are confronted by legal issues surrounding ESI. This article will discuss the use of mediation conferences (known as e-mediation) to resolve ESI disputes and when a special master should be appointed.

Mediation conferences have enjoyed widespread adoption in state and federal courts in Texas. Mediation conferences generally have been only about resolving the underlying dispute. However, the mediation process is available not just for settlement but also for other disputes arising during the course of litigation.

E-mediation is most effective when initiated at the beginning of litigation, at the outset of discovery. Each side should bring in its in-house counsel, chief information officer or information technology director, and subject-matter experts.

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