Mass Law Blog

Pocket Guide to Electronic Evidence, for Federal Judges

by | Feb 5, 2008

Judges need to keep learning too, and a major source of education for them is the Federal Judicial Center, an organization dedicated to judicial education.

In fact, the FJC site is pretty cool. For example, here is a page that provides the biography of every federal judge (all courts, from District Court to Supreme Court), since 1789. Here is the bio of Judge Andrew A. Caffrey (deceased), who made me sweat quite a bit during this 37 day trial back in the early 1980s.

In any event, the FJC publishes various learning materials for judges, and last year they published a short work titled, Managing Discovery of Electronic Information: A Pocket Guide for Judges, authored by Judge Barbara J. Rothstein and former U.S. Magistrate Ronald J. Hedges.

As I’ve noted in the past, electronically stored information (or ESI, as its known), presents enormous challenges to lawyers and judges, almost all of whom were educated long before the last decade’s explosion in ESI. This Pocket Guide is important reading for lawyers practicing in the federal courts since it’s reasonable to assume that (a) the federal judge before whom you’re appearing probably has a copy sitting on the corner of his or her desk, gratis from the FJC, and (b) it may constitute the entirety, or close to it, of what the judge knows about ESI.