Sometimes you get a second chance at a missed opportunity. Back in February, the 10th annual UF Law eDiscovery Conference was conducted and it had huge attendance. Polls were conducted during several of the sessions and most of them received several hundred responses. Unfortunately, I failed to follow up with Maribel Rivera (who coordinates so much behind the scenes every year for the conference) to request and report on the poll results (like I did when I published several results last year). Fortunately, I saw her last week at the CGI conference and mentioned that I had forgotten about it and, earlier this week, she sent me the raw anonymized results from all the polls (thanks Maribel!). So, here are the Judges Panel poll results for the Annual Judicial Panel session!
The Annual Judicial Panel was moderated (as always) by David Horrigan, Discovery Counsel and Legal Education Director at Relativity and included these judges: Xavier Rodriguez, US Courts; Patricia Barksdale, United States Magistrate Judge, Middle DIstrict of Florida; William Matthewman, U.S. Magistrate Judge, U.S.District Court, S.D.Fla.; Gary Jones, United States Magistrate Judge, Northern District of Florida; Julie Sneed, United States Magistrate Judge, Middle District of Florida.
There were five polls during that session, each of which had more than 700 responses (range between 787 and 883 respondents). Pretty darn good! Here are the Judges Panel poll results:
How active should judges be in the e-discovery process?
As you can see, close to half of 883 respondents said they should be “somewhat active” (which to me translates to “it depends”). I’m a bit surprised that there weren’t more respondents taking a strong position on this one.
How knowledgeable should judges be in technology?
A bit more definitive here, with nearly half of 787 respondents expecting judges to be “very knowledgeable” and another 44% expecting them to be “somewhat knowledgeable”. Only 8% didn’t expect judges to be knowledgeable about technology, except when tech is center to the merits of the matter. I can’t see how you wouldn’t expect judges today to have at least some level of technical knowledge.
How generous should judges be in protecting evidence from disclosure under the attorney-client and other privileges and the work product doctrine?
Over half of 823 respondents want strong privilege protection and close to half want at least moderate privilege protection. A mere 3% said very little privilege protection, which makes sense from a crowd that is mostly comprised of lawyers and law students.
How often should judges allow non-party subpoenas under Fed. R. Civ. P. 45?
Well more than half of 811 respondents said “sometimes” (i.e., “it depends”) while over a third of respondents said non-party subpoenas should be allowed often. Minimal response for “almost never”. Having covered cases that have allowed and not allowed non-party subpoenas over the years, I think “it depends” is a pretty accurate answer to what the judiciary thinks.
How often do you see parties enter into a Fed. Evid. P. 502(d) order to preserve privilege when there is an inadvertent disclosure?
Ruh-roh. Judge Peck isn’t going to like this result. Only 16% of 839 respondents said parties are embracing 502(d) orders “very often”. 22% of respondents said “never or I’ve never heard of 502(d)”, which is baffling. There’s a lot more work to do here, for sure.
I counted 34 total polls across the different UF-Law sessions. There are a few I won’t be covering – like “Is Boys II Men a boy band?” (sorry Ian), but there are several really interesting results. Still creating graphs for them, so expect to see a few more posts over the next couple of weeks. Hey, you’ve waited this long!
BTW, what better reason to start getting people ready for next year’s conference? The dates for it are in the graphic at the top of the post!
So, what do you think? Do any of these poll results surprise you? 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.