"The costs of litigation, particularly for large companies, has continued to skyrocket as electronic discovery moves from the fringe of litigation to center stage. Long, protracted e-discovery disputes have become more common, and occur in an environment where pitfalls are questionably defined and liability can be daunting. In fact, a recent survey of attorneys conducted by the ABA demonstrated that a substantial majority of the interviewed attorneys agreed that e-discovery is not only overly burdensome, but has also disproportionately increased the cost of litigation. Cases are settled because of anticipated cost rather than on the merits of the action, and many lawsuits are simply not brought from fear of the cost of litigation. To preserve the function of the civil justice system, something must be changed.
Cooperation is the cornerstone to discovery, and e-discovery is no exception. However, in many cases the parties cannot agree on all aspects of e-discovery, and courts have been forced to intervene. The results are not always consistent, and litigants may find themselves in trouble, despite their best efforts to meet their obligations. Worse still, litigants may find themselves targeted by unscrupulous e-discovery practices by an opponent that are designed solely to drive up costs or convince the court to issue sanctions."