The article focuses on the ways that courts and lawyers deal with new sources of potentially relevant information. For example, the widespread use of social media and embedded GPS technology represent a new avenue of pretrial discovery, with the potential to reveal minute-by-minute details about a litigant’s activities. The article is reprinted here.
Lawyers should be aware of the value of information from unexpected places, Riden said. In addition to the potential treasure trove to be found on social networking sites, he noted that apps with geolocation abilities can track a person without his or her knowledge.
For example, iPhones have “a stealth tracking feature that shows every place you have been,” Riden said, who pulled up his own information on his phone and was “shocked” at how accurate it was.
As judges have become more sophisticated about electronically stored information (ESI), parties are having an increasingly difficult time convincing them that every single piece of metadata is needed in discovery, said Stephen D. Riden, a commercial litigator at Beck Reed Riden in Boston.
“Courts are more resistant to a soup-to-nuts request and will clip parties’ wings if they feel like they are being too aggressive.” Instead, lawyers should be prepared to tailor their ESI requests to the case at hand, he said.
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