In preparing for two webinars in the next two weeks on proportionality in discovery, I thought I would take a fresh look at the number of proportionality disputes and conduct a search on how many proportionality disputes there were in eDiscovery case law for 2021. The result is that proportionality disputes continue to rise – dramatically.
My go-to source for eDiscovery case law is, of course, eDiscovery Assistant and I added 2021 numbers to the four years I looked at last year (2017-2020). So, here are the number of case law rulings that included proportionality disputes over the last five years (or just look at the graphic above):
- 2017: 313 case law rulings
- 2018: 403 case law rulings (up 28.8%)
- 2019: 473 case law rulings (up 17.4% over the previous year, up 51.1% since the first year)
- 2020: 868 case law rulings (up 83.5% over the previous year, up 177.3% since the first year)
- 2021: 1,206 case law rulings (up 38.9% over the previous year, up 285.3% since the first year)
And the 2021 numbers may still rise more! Sometimes, eDiscovery Assistant is loading in straggler cases from the prior year for two or three months into the next year.
Here are the yearly totals of case law rulings with proportionality disputes represented graphically:
Those are pretty telling statistics on why there’s a need for a New Framework on discovery proportionality!
So, just a reminder that I will be moderating a webinar today conducted by the George Washington University Law School (GWU) at 1pm ET (details on how to register here) and I will be moderating another webinar conducted by ACEDS on Wednesday, February 23 at 1pm ET (details on how to register here). Both will be discussing the public comment version of the New Framework on discovery proportionality published by GWU last month. Hope to see you there!
So, what do you think? Are you surprised how much the number of case law rulings with proportionality disputes has risen? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.
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