EDRM Announces Special Masters

EDRM Announces Special Masters and Discovery Mediation Bench Book

Congrats to EDRM for the announcement of the public comment version of their new Special Masters and Discovery Mediation Bench Book!  Part of the press release is below, the full press release is here.

MINNEAPOLIS, MN, USA, August 23, 2022 — Setting the global standards for e-discovery, the Electronic Discovery Reference Model (EDRM) is pleased to announce the Public Comment Period for Version 1.0 of the Bench Book titled, “Using Special Masters and Discovery Mediators to Resolve eDiscovery Disputes: A Bench Book for Judges and Attorneys 2022 Edition.” The Draft Bench Book can be downloaded here: https://edrm.net/active-projects/special-masters-and-ediscovery-mediation-project/. Comments are welcome until September 29, 2022 at the same page.

“Discovery Mediators and Special Masters have the most value at the outset of the case in establishing a discovery plan (where e-discovery issues are anticipated) and where complex e-discovery issues need to be resolved in establishing the initial scheduling order,” said Jay Yelton, who is the Project Trustee for this project. “A Discovery Mediator or Special Master can meet with the attorneys in the course of creating a discovery plan and identify problem areas and suggest solutions which avoid bigger problems down the road. Setting a good tone for resolving issues at that stage of the process is likely to be beneficial throughout the litigation.”

“Court time is at a premium and EDRM is proud to support efforts to resolve disputes quickly and inexpensively,” said Mary Mack, EDRM CEO and chief legal technologist. “Using technically savvy Special Masters and Discovery Mediators allows the judiciary to focus on the heart of the matter rather than on process or data.”

The project team includes 23 experts in the industry, including several experts with considerable experience as a Special Master or Discovery Mediator, as well as current and former judges who understand how a Discovery Mediator or Special Master can resolve discovery issues and keep cases moving.

The 38-page Bench Book discusses (among other things) how Special Masters and Discovery Mediators serve different roles, when courts and attorneys might appoint or recommend a Special Master or Discovery Mediator, the benefits and costs of using one, considerations for selecting or retaining a Special Master or Discovery Mediator, development of a local program and more. There is also a list of Federal and State Court rules governing Discovery Mediators and Special Masters, a model order for appointing a Special Master, an example Discovery Mediator Retention Agreement and local programs promoting Discovery Mediation. It looks like a very valuable guide and I’m looking forward to reading it!

So, what do you think about the announcement of a new Special Masters and Discovery Mediation Bench Book? Please share any comments you might have or if you’d like to know more about a particular topic.

Disclaimer: The views represented herein are exclusively the views of the author, and do not necessarily represent the views held by my employer, my partners or my clients. eDiscovery Today is made available solely for educational purposes to provide general information about general eDiscovery principles and not to provide specific legal advice applicable to any particular circumstance. eDiscovery Today should not be used as a substitute for competent legal advice from a lawyer you have retained and who has agreed to represent you.

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