Florida Supreme Court Hears Oral Argument On FDLA/LCJ Proposed E-Discovery Amendments

Thursday, March 22, 2012 - 11:51


The Supreme Court of Florida heard an oral argument regarding e-discovery rule amendments that were proposed on October 13,2011 by the Florida Defense Lawyers Association (FDLA) and Lawyers for Civil Justice (LCJ).

FDLA and LCJ submitted these proposed amendments in an official comment that detailed necessary changes to Rules 1.280 and 1.380 of the Florida Rules of Civil Procedure.

During the oral argument, attorney Richard Caldwell of Rumberger Kirk & Caldwell presented the positions held by FDLA and LCJ, asserting that, along with advances in retrieval technology, the amount of e-information has increased exponentially to the point where it is measured in terabytes and petabytes. He also emphasized that businesses are spending millions of dollars to preserve these mountains of data. In addition, Mr. Caldwell said that even small “mom and pop” companies now have laptops with data storage capacity equivalent to hundreds of file boxes of paper or more. Such smaller companies would be at risk of ruin if exposed to unlimited e-discovery requests.

A comment letter accompanying the October 13 proposal was addressed to Florida Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles T. Canady and was signed by FDLA president, L. Johnson Sarber III, esq.; LCJ president, L. Gino Marchetti; as well as senior corporate counsel from companies across the nation including ACE Group; Boston Scientific Corporation; Caterpillar Inc.; Eli Lilly and Company; Farmers Insurance Group; FedEx; General Electric Company; GlaxoSmithKline; Microsoft Corporation; Pfizer Inc.; and State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company.