In The News

Home 9 In the News 9 Reining in a Runaway Data Problem: The GW Proportionality Initiative Aims to ‘Right-size’ eDiscovery
Reining in a Runaway Data Problem: The GW Proportionality Initiative Aims to ‘Right-size’ eDiscovery
November 24, 2020

The volume of electronically stored information (ESI) continues to grow exponentially, most recently due to the surge in corporate adoption of chat, messaging and collaboration apps. Some eDiscovery experts are coming together to formalize a solution on a systemic level that will create a defensible, transparent, repeatable approach to right-size discovery. 

The GW Proportionality Initiative

Since the 2015 amendments to the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure (FRCP), the focus has shifted to emphasize proportionality in eDiscovery. But the attempt at balancing benefit vs. burden to determine proportionality has been a frustratingly subjective process.

As reported in eDiscovery Today, The James F. Humphreys Complex Litigation Center of The George Washington University Law School has embarked on a project to develop a proportionality benefit-and-burden model that provides a practical means for assessing claims of proportionality by plaintiff and defense counsel. The model is intended to provide a structured methodology to identify relevant custodians and data sources in order to present a clearer picture of the needs of the case, facilitate negotiations, and better inform the bench.

John Rabiej, former Director of Duke Law School Center for Judicial Studies, is partnering with the Humphreys Complex Litigation Center to lead the initiative. The steering committee and editorial board include numerous judges, attorneys, and eDiscovery experts, including CDS’ own William W. Belt, Jr., Managing Director, Consulting. “The 2015 Rule changes laid the foundation for the critical next step – practical strategies and workflows that better align eDiscovery with the first goal of the first rule of legal proceedings in FRCP 1: ‘the just, speedy, and inexpensive determination of every action and proceeding,’ Bill said. “I’m looking forward to co-chairing one of the four teams on this initiative, and to working with GW Law, my law school alma mater.”

The model is targeted to be published for public comment by the end of the year. The Complex Litigation Center plans to hold an online bench-bar conference on the proportionality model on March 25-26, 2021. Feedback will be sought from all quarters of the legal profession and eDiscovery experts will be sought and seriously considered by the project’s editorial board before it issues a final version.

Global Data Privacy Update: GDPR Walks the Walk

What have we learned, and where are privacy standards heading? Join CDS' Chris O’Connor and global privacy expert Jonathan Armstrong as they discuss the latest developments in GDPR review, regulation and enforcement.

Find out more »

Relativity Fest 2021

CDS is a proud sponsor of Relativity Fest 2021. As a RelativityOne Gold Partner, we are passionate about driving innovation and advocating for cutting edge technology, optimized processes, and streamlined workflows. Be sure to visit our Virtual Booth!

Find out more »

Recent Blogs

Silver Linings: How Women in eDiscovery Can Rebound and Gain New Ground

In this final installment of our four-part blog series, CDS’ Nicole Guyer interviewed women leaders Beth Clutterbuck, CHRO at Relativity and Sasha Yablonovsky, President of CareerBuilder about the ways in which employers and managers can advocate for women in the legal operations and technology space.

How Employers Need to Recalibrate to Attract and Retain Talent

In Part III of a four-part blog series, CDS’ Nicole Guyer led a discussion with Beth Clutterbuck, CHRO at Relativity and Sasha Yablonovsky, President of CareerBuilder on ways in which employers and managers can support their employees and set them up for success in these challenging times.

Changing Workplace Culture: Moving the Needle in Legal

In Part II of a four-part blog series, CDS’ Nicole Guyer led a discussion with Beth Clutterbuck, CHRO at Relativity and Sasha Yablonovsky, President of CareerBuilder on whether the movement to remote work will have a lasting impact on the law firm workplace.