Select Page

Two Articles of Interest (by Judges) in the Boston Bar Journal: Continuity and Change in the Business Litigation Session and Lessons for E-Discovery Practitioners

Two articles in the September/October issue of the Boston Bar Journal (pdf file on BBA site) are of particular interest.

In the first, entitled “Continuity and Change in the Business Litigation Session” Superior Court Judges Judith Fabricant, Ralph Gants and Stephen Neal discuss the Business Litigation Session (BLS) as this session approaches its eighth anniversary and continues its transition following the retirement of Judge Allan van Gestel, who ran the BLS for its first seven years.

Some interesting statistics cited in the article:

  • The BLS (both sessions) takes about 300 cases per year. The court has approved 95% of applications for entry.
  • In each of the two sessions (BLS1 and BLS2) there are fewer than 500 cases pending, as compared with over 800 cases in the other civil sessions in Suffolk County (on average).

As a reminder, links to the BLS Administrative Directives, “Formal Guidence” memos and Procedural Orders are here.

In the second article Federal Magistrate Judge Robert Collings discusses the “discovery saga” in the Qualcomm v. Broadcom patent case in San Diego. In that case it was discovered during trial that highly relevant documents had not been produced during pre-trial discovery. After trial, it was determined that over 300,000 relevant documents had not been produced. Needless to say, when that happens the “sugar hits the fan,” with awards of attorney’s fees and sanctions to follow.

Judge Collings is our federal district’s judicial e-discovery expert, and his commentary on this case (with his “analysis and lessons learned”) is essential reading.

Rock Star Judges and E-Law

Anytime these judges write an opinion, it’s treated like a papal encyclical,” . . . They really influence other judges, who act like these are the rock stars of their profession. . . These ‘rock star’ judges are not surprised that they, and not the new rules, are still the final word in e-discovery. . . .

Quoted from Rockin’ Out the E-Law, ABA Journal, July 2008.

Rock star judges, huh? OK, I’m trying not to wince, laugh or, well, you know… The American Bar Association needs to sell its publications, so you can’t blame them too much, I suppose.

In any event, this article names several judges as prominent in the area of discovery of electronically stored evidence (“ESI”), including Chief Magistrate Judge Paul Grimm of the U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland, Se