In his August 31, 2010 New York Law Journal article, Court Rule Altered to Buttress E-Discovery; I-Filing Advances, Joel Stashenko discusses the amended Uniform Rules of Trial Courts of the State of New York as an effort to insure that lawyers keep “up to speed” regarding their clients’ records at the early stages of discovery. The amended rules were published August 18 and went into effect immediately, having been approved beforehand by Chief Judge Jonathan Lippman and the presiding justices of the four appellate division departments.
Much of this activity has been influenced by a New York court system report, Electronic Discovery in the State of New York, published in February 2010. The key recommendations of that Report includes: establishing an e-discovery work group; improving the preliminary conference; more e-discovery programs in Education and Training; more court attorney referees serving as e-discovery specialists, establishing an institutional presence at the Sedona Conference; and working harder to improve the quality of E-Discovery practice.
On the second front mentioned in Mr. Stashenko’s article, electronic filing of litigant papers is said to be proceeding in New York at a deliberative pace. While more than10,000 lawyers registered for New York’s electronic filing system in 2009, compared to only 300 in 2002, there is , as Chief Administrative Judge Ann Pfau has observed, “there is a long way to go: before e-filing and E-Discovery are required in all New York Courts. After 11 years of experimentation with electronic filing, New York has accorded permanent status to the effort and is now beginning to institute mandatory e-filing in limited areas.