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Electronic Evidence and Discovery: What Every Lawyer Should Know.

Electronic Evidence and Discovery: What Every Lawyer Should Know Michele C.S. Lange Kristin M. Nimsger ABA Book Publishing book publishing. The term publishing means, in the broadest sense, making something publicly known. Usually it refers to the issuing of printed materials, such as books, magazines, periodicals, and the like. 255 pp., $89.95

The trial lawyer's lot has been anything but easy of late, so when the rare opportunity to level the playing field comes along, don't let it slip by. Electronic discovery is both a golden opportunity and a challenge to your knowledge, tenacity, and resources. Compelling your opponent to preserve and produce digital evidence is a big gun and knowing what to do when their guns take aim at your client's electronic evidence is an essential skill.

Considering the trepidation that swirls around electronic discovery, you might expect the latest book on the subject to come from Stephen King <noinclude></noinclude>

For other people named Stephen King, see Stephen King (disambiguation).

Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of over 200 stories including over 50 bestselling horror and
. To its credit, Electronic Evidence and Discovery: What Every Lawyer Should Know, by Michele C.S. Lange and Kristin Nimsger, reads like a novel.

Built on good prose leavened leav·en  
1. An agent, such as yeast, that causes batter or dough to rise, especially by fermentation.

2. An element, influence, or agent that works subtly to lighten, enliven, or modify a whole.

 with anecdotes, it's as close to a page-turner as you'll find on the topic. The authors do an exemplary job establishing the "big picture" of e-discovery, outlining fruitful places to search beyond the e-mail-box and local hard drive.

Although the first and last chapters are little more than bookends for the two substantive ones in the middle, the foreword by noted e-discovery guru Kenneth Withers withers

the region over the backline where the neck joins the thorax and where the dorsal margins of the scapulae lie just below the skin.

fistulous withers
see fistulous withers.
 is brilliant, and the appendices are rich with forms and examples of discovery documents. Lawyers launching their first e-discovery salvos are sure to welcome the forms, whether using them prudently as checklists or less so as templates.

Chapter two offers lucid and practical discussion of steps for locating and requesting electronic discovery, responding to requests, and avoiding data-preservation pitfalls that could lead to spoliation Any erasure, interlineation, or other alteration made to Commercial Paper, such as a check or promissory note, by an individual who is not acting pursuant to the consent of the parties who have an interest in such instrument.  charges and sanctions. After identifying a broad array of devices and forms in which data may be found, the authors lay out a simple (but not simplistic sim·plism  
The tendency to oversimplify an issue or a problem by ignoring complexities or complications.

[French simplisme, from simple, simple, from Old French; see simple
) six-step process for using existing discovery rules to identify and acquire electronic information. Lange and Nimsger then discuss the producing party's duty and steps it must take to meet the preservation and review burden; examples of costly failures in high-profile cases hammer this point home.

The authors conclude the chapter by touching on common legal challenges posed by electronic evidence, including cost-shifting and admissibility considerations. Here, they sound a sour note when they warn readers to "make sure that best-practice protocols were used in imaging and investigating all computer evidence" without indicating what such protocols might entail or steering the reader to a reference. Certainly these authors are well qualified to propose a list of "best-practice protocols" in this otherwise excellent chapter.

Chapter three reviews the nuts and bolts nuts and bolts
pl.n. Slang
The basic working components or practical aspects: "[proposing]
 of e-discovery--particularly computer forensic techniques used to marshal, manage, and filter data in preparation for production. Although this is valuable information, the authors present it less objectively than they do the material in the preceding chapter; it seems to have been adapted from sales brochures and corporate white papers. At times, the repeated suggestion to "consult an e-evidence expert" and references to the authors' employer, Kroll OnTrack, may strike some readers as self-promotional, but the authors' connection to one of the largest e-evidence service providers gives them considerable experience "in the trenches," and they share case examples to illustrate their points.

Except for the blatantly self-serving "Industry Surveys" section, the modest promotion is more than balanced by the strengths and real-world approach of the book. The authors are scrupulously scru·pu·lous  
1. Conscientious and exact; painstaking. See Synonyms at meticulous.

2. Having scruples; principled.
 evenhanded e·ven·hand·ed  
Showing no partiality; fair.

 in identifying competing service providers and fairly objective when describing production methods and formats that their employer doesn't favor (though, I confess, reading the factors to consider in choosing an online review tool, I cynically wondered whether the Kroll OnTrack tool might be the only one that meets their standards).

Chapter four, a brief epilogue ep·i·logue also ep·i·log  
a. A short poem or speech spoken directly to the audience following the conclusion of a play.

b. The performer who delivers such a short poem or speech.

 offering encouragement and predictions of near-term developments in e-discovery, also serves as a prelude to what may be the most valuable part of the book: the appendices. They are a mixed bag of handy documents, ranging from a dense, topically organized digest of electronic-discovery and computer-forensics case law, to selected rules and statutes that affect electronic evidence, to the much-sought "sample" discovery requests (although using such samples is rarely appropriate). A skeletal glossary and reading list round out these offerings.

The book provides a unique perspective and useful resources, packing a wealth of insight into an easy read at a reasonable cost. I highly recommend it--along with the just-published second edition of Electronic Discovery and Evidence, by Michael Arkfeld--to all attorneys seeking a solid base of e-discovery knowledge.

CRAIG BALL is a trial lawyer and computer forensics The investigation of a computer system believed to be involved in cybercrime. Forensic software provides a variety of tools for investigating a suspect PC. Such programs may include a function that copies the entire hard drive to another system for inspection, allowing the original to  expert in Montgomery, Texas Montgomery is a city located in Montgomery County, Texas. As of the 2000 census, the city had a total population of 489. It is considered by many to be the birthplace of the Lone Star Flag of Texas. The town of Montgomery was founded by W. W. . His e-mail address See Internet address.

e-mail address - electronic mail address
 is craig@
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Author:Ball, Craig
Article Type:Book Review
Date:Dec 1, 2004
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