Litigator's Duty of Reasonable Inquiry in Rule 26(g)(3): Guiding a Client Through Discovery

Recording of a 90-minute CLE video webinar with Q&A

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Conducted on Thursday, May 5, 2022

Recorded event now available

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This CLE course will discuss how counsel can objectively satisfy the Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(g) duty to make reasonable inquiry into the client's discovery responses and thereby certify that the client has met its discovery obligations. The program will review what being "actively involved in discovery" means, as a practical matter; what it means to "follow up and validate;" and counsel's options if it cannot make the Fed. R. Civ. P. 26(g) certification.

Description

Bad things can and often do happen when lawyers delegate e-discovery responsibility to their clients. Courts continue to express concern and exasperation over the conduct of counsel in discovery and counsel's failure to meet their affirmative obligations to ensure that the client conducted diligent and thorough searches for discoverable material and that discovery responses were complete and correct when made.

It can be difficult for counsel to draw bright-line distinctions between acceptable and unacceptable conduct in preserving information and in conducting discovery, but counsel is not without guidance.

This panel will provide concrete examples of the oft-given advice that counsel should be "actively involved" in discovery and then follow up and validate processes. The program will discuss the role and content of checklists and how to establish that counsel took those affirmative steps. The panel will also discuss key case law in this area.

Listen as this panel of experienced e-discovery attorneys and litigators demonstrates what counsel must do to meet the duty of reasonable inquiry.

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Outline

  1. Counsel's duty to supervise client discovery
  2. Strategies for staying actively involved in discovery
  3. Strategies for validating client's searches and productions
  4. Strategies for when client performance falls short

Benefits

The panel will review these and other key issues:

  • Why do lawyers continue to struggle with managing discovery?
  • What is "knowledge, information, and belief formed after a reasonable inquiry"?
  • What have courts identified as less than reasonable inquiry into a client's discovery undertakings and what are the possible consequences, including sanctions?
  • How can counsel overcome client objections to their involvement in discovery?

Faculty

Geib, Helen
Helen Geib

Of Counsel
Hoover Hull Turner

Ms. Geib is Of Counsel for Hoover Hull Turner LLP. Her deep knowledge of eDiscovery law and practice was gained over...  |  Read More

Broadhead, Molly
Molly E. Broadhead

Attorney
Hoover Hull Turner

Ms. Broadhead is an associate with Hoover Hull Turner LLP.  She practices in the area of commercial litigation.

 |  Read More
John, Che’lee
Che’lee John

Attorney
Hoover Hull Turner

Ms. John is an associate with Hoover Hull Turner LLP. She practices in the areas of corporate and commercial...  |  Read More

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