The Department of Justice has recently developed a best practices guide for the production of electronically stored information. The protocol was established by the Department of Justice in collaboration with the Office of the Federal Public Defender, the U.S. Administrative Office of the Courts and private counsel. The 21 page protocol is being disseminated to U.S. Attorneys and investigative agencies. The protocol establishes a general framework for E discovery, strategies for E discovery and an E discovery checklist. Similar to civil cases, the recommendations require counsel to meet and confer to discuss:
- The nature, volume and mechanics of E discovery;
- Formats of production of the discovery;
- Method of transmission of E discovery
- Use of a discovery coordinator in multi defendant cases;
- Good faith efforts to resolve discovery disputes; and
- Security of the discovery.
We should be hearing more about this from USAO offices and will keep readers up to date as issues arise. Quite frankly, seems a little surprising that this protocol is just now being published.