The Civil Procedure Rules (CPR) have evolved and require parties and solicitors to properly manage their electronically-stored information during the electronic discovery planning process. It requires them to work together in what’s called a Case Management Conference (CMC).
In this guide, we’ll take a look at electronic discovery implications in a case management conference, but before that, let’s find out what a case management conference is:
What Is a Case Management Conference (CMC)?
A case management conference (CMC) is an early hearing for the court in which both parties, solicitors, and the judge gather to discuss how to handle the case. It focuses on identifying and understanding the real issues of the case and whether or not they can be narrowed down before trial. Also, the court uses its broad case management powers to make the first order for directions, creates a schedule for the stages up to the trial, and gives other directions about how the case should be conducted going forward.
CMC is usually a necessary part of most civil cases; in fact, there can be several CMCs during the course of a case. It’s usually held between 120 and 180 days, from the date the lawsuit is filed. In many of these cases, costs management also applies. In that case, the CMC is combined with the costs management conference, both of which are held together as the case and costs management conference (CCMC). Let’s now study eDiscovery implications in a case management conference.
CMC in the eDiscovery Process
In a case that involves an enormous amount of electronically stored information (ESI), it’s in the best interest of each party to take part in the case management conference.
In a costs and case management conference, the court checks whether the parties complied with the previous directions and deadlines ensure that the parties have identified and understood the issues, considers whether certain issues between the parties can be lessened before trial, gives directions for steps leading to the trial, and evaluates the estimated costs with respect to the value of the trail.
Among the most significant benefits is that a CMC gives the parties an opportunity to discuss with the court any issues they may have from the beginning of the case.
However, since the time between the filing of the lawsuit and the case management conference is relatively short, parties must begin the process of tracing, collecting, and preserving ESI at their earliest. At the time of the first case management, parties should be able to identify:
- Forms and locations in which responsive ESI is stored
- Inaccessible ESI
- Sources of your company’s ESI that aren’t likely to contain relevant documents.
A party that faces trouble identifying the above-listed aspects shouldn’t wait for the conference for assistance. It should immediately contact us or seek professional electronic discovery services.
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