The Role of Special Master in E-Discovery

02 October 2009 Internet, IT & e-Discovery Blog Blog
Authors: Peter Vogel

My good friend Victoria VanBuren recently posted a blog on Karl Bayer’s Blog about Dispute Resolution concerning my article in Atlantic Coast In-House Article about experience as a Special Master. You may find this excerpt of interest:

Before I got into law, I had a career as a computer programmer, received a master’s degree in computer science, and taught graduate courses in computer and information systems. When I started my law practice in 1978, I was already deeply involved in electronic discovery in its infancy.

Although fortunate enough to be armed with my own technical background, I have concluded that most lawyers do not really understand computer systems, the Internet, and e-mail, except to how to use them. As a result, many lawyers turn to discovery consultants to help them recognize what they should look for and where during discovery.

Likewise, judges confronted with arguments concerning electronic discovery and electronic evidence will turn to special masters with expertise in this area for help in assessing the dispute.

With more than 90 percent of the information presently created in electronic form, discovery of e-mail and electronic records has completely transformed litigation. The need for special masters has never been greater.
A special master in electronic discovery cases usually:

  • conducts interviews of IT employees;
  • reviews software;
  • examines data;
  • searches websites;
  • holds hearings on various disputes;
  • assists judges by reviewing motions for summary judgment; and
  • has private meetings with judges.

You are welcome to read the entire article.

This blog is made available by Foley & Lardner LLP (“Foley” or “the Firm”) for informational purposes only. It is not meant to convey the Firm’s legal position on behalf of any client, nor is it intended to convey specific legal advice. Any opinions expressed in this article do not necessarily reflect the views of Foley & Lardner LLP, its partners, or its clients. Accordingly, do not act upon this information without seeking counsel from a licensed attorney. This blog is not intended to create, and receipt of it does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship. Communicating with Foley through this website by email, blog post, or otherwise, does not create an attorney-client relationship for any legal matter. Therefore, any communication or material you transmit to Foley through this blog, whether by email, blog post or any other manner, will not be treated as confidential or proprietary. The information on this blog is published “AS IS” and is not guaranteed to be complete, accurate, and or up-to-date. Foley makes no representations or warranties of any kind, express or implied, as to the operation or content of the site. Foley expressly disclaims all other guarantees, warranties, conditions and representations of any kind, either express or implied, whether arising under any statute, law, commercial use or otherwise, including implied warranties of merchantability, fitness for a particular purpose, title and non-infringement. In no event shall Foley or any of its partners, officers, employees, agents or affiliates be liable, directly or indirectly, under any theory of law (contract, tort, negligence or otherwise), to you or anyone else, for any claims, losses or damages, direct, indirect special, incidental, punitive or consequential, resulting from or occasioned by the creation, use of or reliance on this site (including information and other content) or any third party websites or the information, resources or material accessed through any such websites. In some jurisdictions, the contents of this blog may be considered Attorney Advertising. If applicable, please note that prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. Photographs are for dramatization purposes only and may include models. Likenesses do not necessarily imply current client, partnership or employee status.


Related Services