U.S. District Court Judge Shira A. Scheindlin recently spoke at the 2012 Georgetown eDiscovery Institute, where the topic was “First Do No Harm: Preserving and Admitting Foreign ESI.” Judge Scheindlin’s penning of five Zubulake electronic discovery opinions in one of the first major plaintiff eDiscovery cases in the country makes her a foremost authority on the subject.
Scheindlin sat on a panel of experts to discuss an international electronic data discovery problem of litigation involving privacy laws that vary from country to country. For example, personal data is typically protected and shielded from litigation in Europe more so than in the United States, which complicates cases under U.S. law involving foreign defendants or witnesses. Scheindlin claimed another massive problem is determining when the duty to preserve documents arises for international companies—or, when must a company issue a litigation hold to ensure preservation of relevant documents and data?
Scheindlin offered advice for plaintiff trial lawyers: Educate the judges on the foreign laws involved in the case, and if different rules and jurisdictional issues are at play, remember it is the lawyer’s job to raise the issue before the court. “Raise the issue early,” she cautioned, “at the Rule 16 conference. It’s all about education and raising the issue early.” She humbly told the audience that she regularly reviews the Federal Rules of Evidence prior to a hearing, and urged other practitioners to do the same.
Our firm serves clients in both U.S. and international cases, and we operate on a global level. Besides foreign language translation of unsurpassed quality, ILS offers expert computer forensic services anywhere in the world. Call us at 888-313-4457 for more information.