Regular readers are by now familiar with Grimm's work. From his bench in the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland he has provided some of the most important rulings on e-discovery of the last few years,[FOOTNOTE 1] and we have not hesitated to pass along his wisdom.[FOOTNOTE 2] His latest opinion in the field, however, has even broader implications.
On Oct. 15, Magistrate Judge Grimm issued an opinion in Mancia that sends all attorneys engaged in discovery a message that we have been preaching with respect to electronically stored information for years: Advanced knowledge of the data in your control and cooperation with your adversary will get you everywhere. What makes Mancia notable, however, is that it suggests such cooperation, in addition to reflecting best practices, may be mandated by the Federal Rules.
This ruling may come as a surprise to attorneys who have dealt primarily with "traditional" paper discovery. But for those who are familiar with the Federal Rules regarding e-discovery, and the procedures and practices that have developed thereunder, it appears Magistrate Judge Grimm has simply taken the lessons learned from dealing with ESI and translated them to broader discovery practice."